Discrimination in the workplace is both wide-spread and narrowly construed. The law does not prohibit all forms of discrimination; it only prohibits certain types of discrimination. This post will go over the nuance in discrimination to help you identify actionable discrimination from legal discrimination.
For instance, your employer is free to discriminate between qualified and unqualified candidates. For example, your employer is free to discriminate between qualified and unqualified candidates; she can discriminate between people she likes and does not like; she can even choose to exclude redheads and brunettes but keep blondes.
But, employers are not permitted to discriminate based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability (the list is slightly longer, especially if you include state prohibitions, but these are the most common types of discrimination.
If you suffered discrimination, but it isn’t in one of these categories, it isn’t illegal, and you cannot sue over it. But, in the employment context, discrimination begins the moment someone is considering accepting your resume and granting you an interview. The company must grant you a fair shot at the hiring process, assuming you meet the minimum competency the company requires.
So, while the intent of anti-discrimination laws is narrow, the effect is quite broad. It protects all workers, prospective workers, independent contractors, and retired workers.
If you believe you were discriminated against in your workplace, then you should consult with an attorney at your earliest convenience. A lawyer can help you investigate the matter to determine if you have an actionable claim for workplace discrimination. You don’t need to continue accepting discrimination as a fact of life. You are entitled to work, just like anyone else. Keep these categories in mind the next time you are harassed or discriminated against by your job. A lawyer can help you protect your rights.