Types of Work Discrimination

Facing discrimination in the workplace can be a deeply unsettling and challenging experience. You may not know exactly which actions can be legally defined as discrimination, and you may not know what steps to take even when you are sure.

At Gash & Associates, P.C., we take workplace discrimination seriously, and we’ve helped countless clients just like you find protection and compensation. It’s important to understand the legal protections in place to safeguard your rights, as well as how to report and address discrimination in the workplace. This guide will help you understand the basics, but if you need your specific questions answered, call our White Plains office today.

Recognizing Discrimination

Workplace discrimination happens when employees are mistreated because of their specific characteristics. These can include race, gender, age, disability, or anything else that singles you out.

Understanding the common forms of discrimination can help you better recognize them, and knowing that you are not alone can empower you to speak up and defend your rights.

  • Race Discrimination: This includes unfavorable treatment due to a person’s race or any characteristics usually associated with race, such as hair texture, skin color, or facial features.
  • Gender Discrimination: This involves discrimination against an employee because of their gender, including issues related to gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.
  • Age Discrimination: This type of discrimination occurs when an employee is treated unfairly because of their age. It typically affects people who are 40 years old or older and who have often been passed over for promotions despite their knowledge and experience.
  • Disability Discrimination: If an employee is treated poorly because of a disability (or a history of disabilities), it’s a classic case of workplace discrimination. Discrimination can also occur if the workplace is not made accessible for the disabled person’s needs. If a worker in a wheelchair cannot easily use the break room or restrooms, the company will be required to make changes to accommodate them.

Legal Protections in New York

In recent years, there have been significant advancements in laws to protect workers from discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee.

New York State offers its own safeguards against workplace discrimination through the New York State Human Rights Law, which extends discrimination protections to include marital status, family status, and victims of domestic violence. It offers broader coverage than the federal laws and ensures a more inclusive environment for all New Yorkers.

How to Report Discrimination

If you believe you’re experiencing discrimination in the workplace, documenting every incident is crucial. Keep detailed records of dates, times, witnesses, and the type of discrimination. Reporting the issue to your HR department is the first step. If the problem isn’t resolved, you might consider filing a complaint with the EEOC or contacting one of our workplace discrimination attorneys for advice.

Gash & Associates, P.C.: Standing Up for Workers’ Rights

If you’re being discriminated against at work, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (914) 328-8800. Let us help you through this challenging time with the support, guidance, and legal expertise you deserve.