Discrimination in the workplace occurs when employees are treated unfairly or harassed in matters ranging from hiring, compensation, benefits, promotions, and layoffs to job training and working conditions. Workplace discrimination often creates a hostile work environment, which can have a negative effect on job performance and even lead to wrongful termination.
Workplace discrimination is illegal. Federal, state, and city laws forbid discrimination on the basis of protected categories, including:
Gender or Sexual Orientation
Disability/Failure to Accommodate
For example, disability discrimination involves unfair treatment of employees in the workplace on the basis of a disability. The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that employers covered by the law to provide reasonable accommodations to known physical or mental limitations of qualified employees. This law applies whether the employees work part-time or full-time. Ofter, employers refuse to make practical allowances or provide the tools that will enable disabled employees to function and thrive in their jobs.
Gender or sex discrimination happens when an employer treats an employee unequally based his or her gender or sexual orientation. An employer cannot make employment decisions based on stereotypes or other assumptions, and all company policies and practices must be equal for all genders.
The law also recognizes the importance of eliminating hostile work environments and other improper employer practices. There are many different acts that can cause a hostile work environment, such as intimidation, oppression, ridicule, and using offensive language.
Regardless of the act, perpetuating a hostile work environment is illegal when based on any protected category. Calling a woman a “dumb blonde” or saying “Muslims are terrorists” or “Black people are lazy” creates a hostile work environment. Saying something disparaging about a co-worker’s sexual orientation, making explicit sexual sounds, or watching pornography on a computer at work are all acts that can intimidate and seriously disturb others.
Mark Mulick has years of experience representing clients who have been subjected to workplace discrimination. He’s successfully represented clients in the following areas:
FAILURE TO ACCOMMODATE
Plaintiff contracted malaria on a visit to Nigeria, resulting in a false HIV positive test. The positive test resulted in termination.
FAILURE TO ACCOMMODATE
Plaintiff was a Mexican American police sergeant. The chief of police repeatedly told the other officers and staff that all Mexicans were thieves and liars.
Plaintiff was a female employee who was repeatedly harassed and asked out on dates by her female supervisor.
We understand that being a victim of workplace discrimination can severely impact your career and your life. If you need legal assistance with a workplace-related claim, please contact our office immediately.