Understanding the different types of workplace discrimination

When it comes to workplace discrimination in California, employees must recognize and address any violations of employment law at once. Discrimination takes many forms and unfortunately, some employees are discriminated against without even realizing their rights were violated. Unlawful discrimination may take place during any part of the employment process, including while assigning tasks, hiring, terminating positions, training and offering promotions.

Sex-based discrimination

Also known as gender discrimination, sex-based discrimination consists of treating employees unfairly because of their gender or gender identity, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. For example, it is illegal for a fire department to choose to hire a man on the basis of his gender while turning down a woman who possesses better qualifications.

With regard to sex-based discrimination, both the harassers and victims may be male or female, share the same gender or belong to different genders. Sexual harassment, such as illegally requesting sexual favors, making sexual advances that are not wanted and harassing someone physically or verbally in a sexual nature, is also unlawful in the workplace.

Examples of racial discrimination

According to the United States Department of Justice, it is against the law for employers to discriminate against employees because of their connection or membership to a specific race. An example of this is an employer who has a dislike for Asians, and refuses to hire someone simply because their eyes are slanted. Moreover, racial discrimination occurs when employees are treated unfairly because of their connection to a certain individual or group of people on the basis of their race. Employees cannot be fired or denied a promotion because they are married to someone who belongs to a certain race.

Other types of discrimination

In addition to sex-based discrimination and racial discrimination, employees are subjected to numerous other types of discrimination while they are at work. It is illegal for employees to be treated unfairly based on the following:

  • Religious beliefs
  • National origin
  • Pregnancy status
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Military status

If employees decide to file a complaint because they believe they were unlawfully discriminated against, or if they choose to participate in a discrimination complaint, retaliatory actions cannot be taken against them. Employers cannot terminate an employee's contract, harass the person or take other types adverse actions against the employee on these grounds.

When employees experience workplace discrimination in Long Beach, they should not hesitate to stand up for their rights and hold those who have broken the law accountable. In fact, many have found value in connecting with a legal professional who understands the ins and outs of these types of cases.