Discrimination isn’t just morally wrong, it’s legally wrong. Both state and federal law bar employers from discriminating against their employees or prospective employees, and a claim of being a private business is no excuse. If you’ve been the victim of any form of discrimination, turn to Sykes Law to get help enforcing your legal rights.
With limited exceptions for minors and in certain positions that are regulated for public safety, employers cannot take age into account when making hiring, promotion, or termination decisions. Employees over the age of 40 receive special protections to prevent hidden age discrimination.
Sex / Gender Discrimination
Sex and gender discrimination laws prevent men and women from being treated differently in the workplace. This includes hiring, promotions, pay, and general working conditions. Sexual harassment may also be considered a form of sex or gender discrimination.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covers employees with permanent, life changing conditions (temporary illnesses and injuries are not covered). Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations to allow a disabled employee to perform their job function. If an employer refuses to accommodate you, you may have the right to make a claim under the ADA.
When most people think of discrimination, they think of traditionally underrepresented groups such as women or African Americans. However, discrimination laws apply equally to the treatment of men, Caucasians, and other groups that are not traditionally the target of discrimination.
Race/Ethnicity/National Origin Discrimination
Employers cannot allow race, ethnicity, or national origin — either actual or perceived —influence their employment decisions. Attempts to circumvent these laws by imposing English tests or other requirements must be clearly connected to the job, and may not be used merely as an attempt at legal discrimination.
Discrimination Due to Religious Beliefs/Practices
Employers have three duties with regard to religious discrimination. They cannot take your religion in account in employment discrimination, they must provide you with reasonable accommodations to allow you to practice your religion, and they may not impose their own religious views on you.
Hostile Work Environment
Equal rights laws don’t only apply to open discrimination. An employer can’t create a hostile working environment in an effort to force an employee to leave on their own, and they must take reasonable steps to ensure their employees don’t take any discriminatory actions either in their official capacities or in how they treat others in the workplace.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires that pregnant women receive the same treatment that the employer extends to employees with medical conditions. Pregnant women also have the right to leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Sexual Orientation/Gay Rights
Neither federal law nor Georgia state law prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. However, many localities, including the City of Atlanta, have passed ordinances barring discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
If you are facing any kind of discrimination in the workplace, contact Sykes Law today. I’m your legal gladiator in Fulton, Cobb, Clayton, Dekalb, and Forsyth Counties.