Common Workplace Discrimination Questions
Before you take action, it is important to know the truth about discrimination claims. Here are a few common questions and answers:
What Is Discrimination?
Discrimination is any negative treatment of an employee for the sole reason of that employee’s membership in a protected class. Protected classes include race, religious beliefs, age, gender, national origin, and others. The negative treatment of an employer toward an employee can include firing, failing to hire, passing over for a promotion, underpaying, withholding of benefits, and other related actions. In some cases, sexual harassment can be a form of discrimination.
Is Every Case of Firing or Demoting Someone Considered Discrimination?
No. You’ll notice in the explanation above that the negative action taken by the employer has to be for the sole reason of the employee’s membership in a protected class. In many cases, the employee claiming discrimination has given the employer plenty of other reasons for the employer’s actions.
For example, an employee has been failing to show up for work, without notice, once a week for six months. If the employer fires this employee, there probably will not be a valid discrimination claim. However, if the employer fires the employee because of his or her race, parental status, or religion, it would support a discrimination claim.
For both the employer and the employee, it is critical to work with an attorney who understands the law and processes involved with these claims. With experience and knowledge, clients can find efficient, favorable resolutions.
Can an Employer Fire an Employee for Reporting Discrimination?
An employer can technically fire an employee for reporting discrimination, but it is illegal. The practice of firing or demoting an employee for reporting illegal activity is called retaliation, and it is against the law. An employee who has been subject to retaliation can pursue financial compensation.
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