What Are Different Forms of Discrimination?

Discrimination can take on a variety of forms, both direct and indirect, and can happen in any environment. In the workplace, employment discrimination can occur even before a person works for an organization or company. Both employees and job applicants can be treated unfairly due to race, skin color, national origin, gender, disability, religion, or age. This type of treatment is illegal in any facet of employment, and if you believe you were treated unfairly for any of these reasons, it is crucial to seek legal representation as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected.

What Is Workplace Discrimination?

Discrimination in the workplace occurs when someone is adversely discriminated against based on one or more factors. Employees and job applicants might experience discrimination based on disabilities, genetic information, pregnancy, or their relationship with another person. Examples of employment discrimination include:

  • Stating or suggesting a preference for certain candidates in a job advertisement that is unrelated to a prospective employee’s qualifications or ability to perform the expected duties
  • Excluding certain potential employees during recruitment for reasons unrelated to their ability to perform the expected duties
  • Denying certain employees compensation or benefits
  • Paying a different salary to an equally qualified candidate in the same position
  • Discriminating when assigning disability or maternity leave, or when providing retirement options
  • Denying or disrupting the use of company facilities
  • Discriminatory treatment when issuing promotions or layoffs

Harassment vs. Discrimination

Many might not realize it, but harassment is actually a form of discrimination and, as is the case with discrimination, there are different types of harassment. This includes unwelcome behavior from a co-worker, manager, client, or another individual in the workplace based on race, color, religion, gender, nationality, age, disability, genetic information, or any other legally protected personal traits.

Types of Discrimination

As mentioned above, an employer can discriminate against an employee or a job applicant in many ways. Some of these include:

  • Age Discrimination: With a few very rare exceptions, employers are prohibited from specifying an age preference in job advertisements. All employees, regardless of age, must receive the same benefits. Additionally, age discrimination in apprenticeship or internship programs or opportunities is also illegal.
  • Religious Discrimination: Employers are required to reasonably accommodate the religious beliefs of their employees as long as doing so will not have an excessively negative effect on the employer. It is illegal for businesses to discriminate against employees based on their religious customs.
  • Gender Discrimination: Men and women of the same qualifications, responsibility, skill level, and position must receive equal pay. Employers are forbidden from discriminating on the basis of gender and from lowering one gender’s salary simply to equalize the pay between genders.
  • Pregnancy-Based Discrimination: Discrimination based on pregnancy is also illegal and employers must handle the issue of pregnancy as they would handle a temporary illness or other non-permanent condition that calls for special consideration.
  • Hostile Work Environment: Hostile work environments exist when harassment or discrimination prevents or interferes with an employee’s ability to perform his or her job duties or creates an offensive environment for an employee or group of employees.

Workplace Discrimination Attorney in the Bay Area

If you believe you were discriminated against by an employer or prospective employer based on any number of personally identifying factors, you have the right to take legal action against that employer and obtain the justice you deserve. At Habbas & Associates, our San Jose legal team has over 175 years of combined experience in several areas of practice. We will diligently fight for you to ensure your rights are protected.

For the representation you need, contact our firm today at (888) 387-4053 to schedule a free initial consultation with a knowledgeable member of our team.


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