As an employee, you may be protected by a number of different anti-discrimination laws. These laws protect certain employees throughout all stages of employment from interviewing and hiring to termination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, is the agency that is tasked with administering federal employment discrimination laws. Here are six employment discrimination laws that you should know.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to all employers that have 15 or more workers. It prohibits discrimination on the basis of protected classes, including race, religion, color, national origin and sex. Employers are not allowed to base the decisions that they make about employment on any of these protected statuses in any aspect of employment. You are protected in hiring, interviewing, promotions, discipline, layoffs, salary, bonuses, benefits, positions and firing.
Your employer must also maintain a work environment that is free from harassment based on one of the protected statuses. Employers must ensure that their employees are not harassed by anyone, including customers, vendors, supervisors, coworkers and third parties.
Pregnancy Discrimination Act
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act that was passed in 1978. This act forbids discriminating against an employee because of childbirth, pregnancy and related medical conditions. It also applies to employers that have 15 or more employees and applies to all types of employment decisions and actions.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act
Passed in 1967, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act forbids employers from discriminating against workers who are age 40 or older. It prohibits discrimination based on a person’s age in all employment aspects and applies to employers who have 20 or more workers.
Employers cannot base their decisions regarding employment on a person’s age or the employer’s beliefs about workers who are older. Employers may not refuse to hire an older worker simply because the employer thinks that the worker will soon retire or will have problems taking direction from younger supervisors. They may also not use phrases such as ‘recent graduate’ or ‘young’ when they advertise positions.
Americans With Disabilities Act
Passed in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act forbids discrimination against disabled individuals who are qualified in all aspects of employment. Individuals who are protected under the ADA are those who have physical or mental conditions that substantially impair one or more of their major life activities. People are also protected under the ADA if they are perceived as having an impairment or if they have a history of suffering from one. It applies to employers who have 15 or more workers.
Employers must help qualified individuals who have disabilities. This means that they must provide reasonable accommodations to people who have disabilities so that they can perform their jobs. Employees must make the requests for accommodations, and not all accommodations are considered to be reasonable.
Equal Pay Act
The Equal Pay Act forbids wage discrimination that is based on gender. Your employer is supposed to pay equal wages to women and men whose jobs are substantially similar. This means that your employer is forbidden from paying you less than a worker of the opposite sex when you have equal skill, responsibility and required effort under working conditions that are similar. This act applies to nearly all employers regardless of their size.
Immigration Reform and Control Act
Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act, employers may not discriminate against applicants and employees on the basis of their national origin or citizenship status. This law also forbids employers from knowingly hiring people who are not authorized to work in the U.S. It requires employers to verify your employment authorization and identity prior to hiring you.
The state’s laws may also forbid various types of employment discrimination. If you believe that you have been the victim of employment discrimination, you may need legal help. Call the attorneys at Swartz Swidler to schedule your consultation today.