Workplace discrimination can take many forms, including verbal harassment, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, and so on. It’s important to know that it is illegal for an employer in the United States to discriminate against someone based on their race, age, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or other protected classifications. Employers have a duty to provide equal employment opportunities and prohibit workers – whether they are employees, contractors, interns, or applicants – from being discriminated against or breached by an employment contract.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (a federal law), which outlaws discrimination in the workplace, including among employers. In some cases, state attorney generals also investigate and prosecute unlawful employment discrimination violations. If you believe your rights as an employee have been violated, contact Levine & Blit today at (212) 967-3000 to discuss filing a workplace harassment lawsuit.
As reported by the American Psychological Association, 61% of adults across the country experience prejudicial treatment every day. The most prevalent form of prejudice is the subtle kind – like not getting hired because of a job interviewer’s bias toward a specific group of people. While unchecked discrimination might seem harmless, it actually impacts our mental health and well-being.
Discrimination in the workplace has serious adverse effects on the physical and emotional well-being of those affected, including depression, stress, insomnia, headaches, anxiety, and lower productivity. Employees who feel ignored, rejected, or belittled may become disillusioned with their jobs. They lose interest, develop cynicism, or even quit altogether. At its worst, such experiences can lead to anger, rage, fear, or suicidal thoughts.
In addition to these effects, research suggests that discrimination itself harms employee health, both physically and mentally.
When coworkers treat each other unfairly, they create an environment where people start feeling unsafe. This affects the amount of trust that people have for one another. Some individuals withdraw more than others. When this happens in a group setting, it creates an atmosphere where everyone feels isolated or outcast from one another. Feeling left out can cause people to resent other organization members, leading them to disengage. As their participation drops off, so does morale, making life difficult for the entire team.
Employment discrimination can happen to anyone. Recognizing that you are being treated unfairly is the first step toward taking action.
Here are ways examples of discrimination:
- Denying you promotions or raises because of your sex, skin color, age, national origin, or religion.
- Demanding you do additional duties or responsibilities because of your sex or age.
- Failing to promote you for reasons having nothing to do with your qualifications and skills.
- Threatening to fire employees or denying benefits if you complain about unfair treatment.
- Making derogatory verbal remarks or jokes about your differences.
- Harassing or intimidating coworkers and customers or threatening violence.
- Providing unequal pay or benefits.
- Limiting access to training or promotion.
- Allowing supervisors to make decisions for you without consulting you.
- Refusing to consider your application for employment or promotion due to discriminatory criteria.
What Can I Do About Workplace Discrimination?
If you find yourself the victim of unlawful discrimination, let the workplace discrimination lawyers from Levine & Blit help. With our legal services and expertise, we can support you in making a successful claim against your employer.