Sex discrimination and harrassment is the same in every workplace, but the application differs a bit . There are two primary differences in the US: ALL of federal employment is covered by sex discrimination and harassment law; about half of private employers are - those with 15 or more employees, excluding the owners. Also, the federal workforce is protected against discrimination and harassment on the basis of homosexuality; that applies to almost no private employers, and when it does it is by the employer's internal policy. Also, don't begin with lawyers and the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). Every court ruling on harassment says you MUST first complain through the employer's harassment complaint policy,giving the employer a chance to investigate your claim and remedy the offense if there was one.
It covers ANY type of discrimination occurring for ANY reason which occurs in an inidvidual's workplace or in an atmosphere or setting controlled by their employer. Workplace discrimination is the employer identifying and acting on the real differences among workers and applicants. A few specified bases of discrimination are prohibited - race , sex, religion, age, disability, union membership, veteran status, and bankruptcy. Other than those, employers are unrestricted in discriminating.
Some would claim that it should be left entirely alone unless it is illegal discrimination. Most workplace discrimination is lawful or required. If there is strong evidence of race, sex, religious, age or disability discrimination, complain internally first. The employer MUST investigate and must eliminate illegal discrimination if it is found. Retaliation is illegal. Complaining to government is slow and ineffective, useful only as a step to a lawsuit at your own expense.
The great thing about the United States is that people have rights. This is especially true in the workplace, where employers are required to follow a large number of different laws in regards to their employees. Some of the most important of those laws have to do with workplace discrimination. Employers are required, by law, to operate with non-discriminatory practices. This is incredibly important for people who are involved, as workplace discrimination can be a huge detriment to anyone's career. But what are people supposed to do when they are the victim of workplace discrimination?Defining workplace discriminationIn order to truly understand the nuances of workplace discrimination, it is necessary to read the applicable statutes. Likewise, it helps if you have an attorney who can explain the issues to you. Generally speaking, though, workplace discrimination occurs when an employer makes an adverse decision against an employee because of that employee's race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and a couple of other factors. Age discrimination and discrimination against the handicapped are also subject to statutory regulation. When the employer takes a hard line against these people in hiring, firing, discipline, or any other way, they can be subject to a workplace discrimination suit.Proving workplace discriminationOver the years, courts have varied in how they have dealt with workplace discrimination. Some courts have made life very difficult on plaintiffs, giving the benefit of the doubt to an employer. Other courts and judges have been more sympathetic to plaintiffs. As with all things in the law, a lot of the decision depends upon the judge and his or her interpretation of the law. In general, though, there has to be some explicit proof that a person was discriminated against because of one of the protected qualities. Because employers are generally free to hire and fire how they wish, simply being fired and being in a protected class is not enough.For people who find themselves entangled in an ugly discrimination situation, getting a good attorney is absolutely key. These cases often turn on just how well an attorney can present proof to a judge or to a jury. These cases tend to be close and they require a person with experience. The best advice for any person in this situation is to go out and hire an attorney who has been through the wars in workplace discrimination suits before. Experience is everything.
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