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Types of Workplace Discrimination

Man Pointing at Watch - California overtime law

No one should have to deal with discrimination in the workplace. Unfortunately, despite prohibitions on workplace discrimination under federal and state employment law, it’s still quite common to encounter it. If you encounter possible workplace discrimination at your job in San Jose, CA, you can get the help you need from a lawyer who handles cases pertaining to employment law.

Workplace Discrimination

Age Discrimination

Age discrimination is prohibited under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). ADEA protects workers who are aged 40 or older from unfair discriminatory practices in the workplace. Some state laws protect younger workers from age discrimination. It should be noted that ADEA does not prohibit favoring an older worker instead of a younger worker. Unlawful discrimination may be committed by anyone, even if both parties are over the age of 40. Prohibited acts include discriminatory employment policies, harassment, and discriminatory acts pertaining to any condition or aspect of employment.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is among the most common forms of workplace discrimination. A person of either sex may be the victim or the perpetrator of sexual harassment. It is also possible for the victim and the perpetrator to be of the same sex. Sexual harassment may involve acts, such as requests for sexual favors, unwelcome sexual advances, or offensive remarks related to a person’s sex. Generally, to be legally defined as sexual harassment, the behavior must be so egregious or pervasive so as to constitute a hostile work environment.

Religious Discrimination

It is illegal to treat an employee or a job applicant in an unfair manner because of that individual’s religious beliefs. All religious beliefs are protected, so long as they are sincerely held by that individual. Additionally, this category of discrimination protects sincerely held ethical and moral beliefs. Employers are required by law to make reasonable accommodations for an employee’s religious practices and beliefs. The only exception is if these accommodations would significantly disrupt the business’ operations. For example, if an employee is required by faith to pray at certain times throughout the day, the employer may allow flexible scheduling or flexible break periods. Another discriminatory action is segregation based on religion. For example, if a religious adherent is required by faith to grow a beard or wear specific head garb, he or she must not be barred from client interactions or other aspects of the business because of these requirements.