Work From Home Job Discrimination, How To Prove It
Did you just get turned down for a work-from-home job? It may be because of discrimination in employment. And, unless you have been part of similar lawsuits, you may not know what your rights are.
Job discrimination is the unfair treatment of an employee or potential employee who falls into a protected class. This can be due to gender identity, race, age, or disability. According to the Civil Rights Act, it is unlawful and may result in a federal prosecution, including jail time if found guilty. Specifically, working from home discrimination is a real issue. It is one of many forms of workplace discrimination.
This article goes into more detail on remote work employment discrimination, how to prove it, and the best course of action if you are facing it. Workplace discrimination exists no matter if your workplace is at home or at the office. A hostile work environment can easily be online as it can be in person.
What are the Seven Types of Employment Discrimination?
Here are the seven types of employment discrimination.
1. Age Discrimination
This is one of the most common types of discriminatory practices in the workplace. Age discrimination is when job applicants get turned down for a position or given unfavorable working conditions because they are “too old” or “too young.”
Another example of age discrimination: An employer not hiring a new employee because the cost of their health insurance would be high, or laying off an older employee in favor of younger employees who get paid less.
These are just two examples of how age discrimination in the workplace can occur.
2. Disability Discrimination
Disability discrimination occurs when individuals get unfair treatment because they have a physical or mental disability. This includes when people refuse to hire, promote, or give opportunities due to disabilities. The Americans With Disabilities act describe what circumstances are considered disability discrimination under US law.
Refusing to hire a person with paraplegia who has experience in a field they are applying for or refusing to give someone with an intellectual disability more than four hours of work per day are examples of disability discrimination. The law also requires that reasonable accommodation be made in in-person and online workplaces. Often, a reasonable accommodation is the ability to work remotely. This is especially important for people who have immunological challenges and wish to curtail exposure to COVID-19.
3. Gender Discrimination
Gender discrimination occurs when individuals get treated differently because of their gender identity. This includes hiring, promoting, and providing opportunities based on their gender and can include any behavior that would be offensive to another’s gender. Gender discrimination is an especially odious form of workplace discrimination. This can apply to both in-person and remote workers.
- Hiring only women as receptionists and not hiring men.
- Refusing to give opportunities to qualified women.
- Treating female employees differently than male employees or paying them less than their male counterparts for similar work.
- When an employer calls a male employee a derogatory term, such as “bitch,” this could be sex discrimination and sexual harassment.
4. National Origin Discrimination
This type of discrimination occurs when someone undergoes different treatment because they are from another country or ethnic background. This can include hiring, promoting, and providing opportunities based on an individual’s place of origin. Much of this is covered under provisions of the Civil Rights Act.
Employees who get harassed for speaking a foreign language, not speaking English well, or having an accent are examples of national origin discrimination that anti-discrimination laws discourage. This is occurring more and more as the internet creates opportunities for remote work.
5. Pregnancy Discrimination
Pregnancy discrimination is when someone gets mistreated because they are pregnant or taking maternity leave. Refusing to hire a pregnant woman because the employer doesn’t want to deal with maternity leave is an example of unlawful discrimination.
Firing someone because they took maternity leave is another example of this type of discrimination.
6. Race Discrimination (Also known as “Color” Discrimination)
Race discrimination occurs when someone receives unfair treatment due to their race, skin color, or ethnic background. This can include hiring, promoting, and providing opportunities based on an individual’s race or color.
Firing someone based on race or skin color is another example of this type of discrimination.
7. Religious Discrimination
This occurs when someone gets treated differently or unfairly due to their religious beliefs or practices. This includes hiring, promoting, and providing opportunities based on an individual’s religious beliefs.
Firing someone because they refuse to work on the Sabbath or not hiring someone because their religious practices conflict with a part of the job is an example of this type of discrimination.
How to Prove Work from Home Discrimination
Proving work from home discrimination depends on your employment status and how the employer approaches you. But, here are some of the other ways of proving work from home discrimination. These pieces of evidence are essential for making a discrimination claim.
1. Circumstantial Evidence
If your employer gives preferential treatment to some employees when they want to work from home, you might be able to prove work from home discrimination.
For example, if someone who works for the IT department gets the opportunity to work from home while everyone else cannot even consider it because they are not allowed, you can prove work from home discrimination.
2. Direct Evidence
If your employer directly makes discriminatory comments related to your request for working from home and how the company would not allow such a thing, you might prove work from home discrimination. Direct evidence is essential in discrimination claims.
For example this might be a direct discriminatory statement, “I only like employees that I see sitting at the desk every day, and I don’t like the idea of allowing people to work from home.” If a statement like this is made and it has no bearing on job duties, it may be a piece of direct evidence.
3. Business Justification Evidence
It might be possible that your request for working from home was refused because of an important business need. If you can show that this policy is not related to your job performance and is just a business need, you might have a case.
Have You Been Discriminated Against at Work?
If you feel you have been discriminated against at work because of your race, ethnicity, gender, religion, disability status, sexual orientation, or other factors that could be used to judge you as an employee, you need to take action. Remote work does not eliminate these problems. This can help to ensure that this does not continue to happen in the future and can also lead to you receiving monetary and other forms of compensation for what has been done to you on the job. Workplace discrimination is a complex subject, especially when it deals with remote work.
Contact Levine and Blit at (212) 967-3000 to speak with a lawyer specializing in discrimination cases about your experience today if you have questions or need more information. We can help you with your remote work discrimination case.