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Discrimination in the workplace

Have You Experienced Discrimination in the Workplace? Here’s What You Should Know

August 13, 2019

Unfortunately, despite recent efforts, many Michigan employees still experience widespread discrimination in the workplace. This unfair and illegal treatment affects workers in companies of all sizes in every type of industry. Victims of discrimination may suffer financial and emotional harm as a result. However, numerous state and federal laws prohibit workplace discrimination in Michigan and throughout the country. And, when employers break these laws, a qualified job discrimination lawyer can help you protect your rights. Here’s everything you need to know about discrimination in the workplace.

Types of Discrimination in the Workplace

Workplace discrimination takes many forms. Basically, it is considered discrimination when someone is treated unfairly because they belong to a “protected class.” Some of these categories are protected by federal laws, while others fall under Michigan law. Nevertheless, it is illegal to discriminate against a worker or potential employee based on any of the following criteria:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions)
  • Gender identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability, mental or physical discrimination on the basis of disability must be related to the person’s ability to perform on the job or use facilities which cannot be reasonably altered
  • Age
  • Citizenship status
  • Genetic information
  • Marital status
  • Height or weight
  • Misdemeanor criminal record
  • Marriage to or association with an individual of a particular religion, race, national origin or someone with a disability
  • Affiliation with places of worship or schools associated with a particular ethnic, racial or religious group

What are the various kinds of workplace discrimination?

A worker (or potential hiree) can experience discrimination in a number of areas relating to employment. Here are some of the most common:

  • Recruitment
  • Hiring
  • Termination
  • Compensation
  • Promotion
  • Job assignment
  • Testing
  • Training
  • Unequal treatment on the job
  • Sexual harassment
  • Harassment based on race, religion or another protected category  

How do I know whether my employer is subject to workplace discrimination laws?

Generally, employers with 15 or more workers must follow federal laws governing discrimination in the workplace. Exceptions include age discrimination (applies to employers with 20 or more employees) and citizenship status discrimination (applies to employers with 4 or more employees).

In addition, federal law requires all employers to provide equal pay to workers with the same job, regardless of gender.

Furthermore, Michigan job discrimination laws apply to all businesses with one or more employees.

Employers of all sizes must also consider hiring or promoting both men and women for every open position. Exceptions may apply if the employer can prove a job can only be performed by someone of a specific gender.

Why should I hire a job discrimination lawyer?

Because both state and federal laws are often involved, workplace discrimination cases are seldom simple. Typically, employers will deny they did anything illegal, putting the burden of proof on the victim. Therefore, you will achieve a better outcome when you hire an experienced lawyer who understands workplace discrimination law.

Moreover, an employer may retaliate against an employee who files a lawsuit or reports them to a state or federal agency. While such retaliation is illegal, many employees don’t know how to defend themselves when this occurs. A knowledgeable job discrimination lawyer will make sure you receive the compensation you and your family deserves.

Workplace discrimination law is complicated, but finding the right lawyer is simple.

Call 1-800-CALL-SAM today for a free no-obligation consultation.