Workers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are protected from employment discrimination at their jobs under multiple federal laws. Anti-discrimination laws protect workers during all of the phases of their jobs, including the advertisements, interviews, during their jobs and during terminations. The agency that is tasked with enforcing these laws is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The law firm of Swartz Swidler is providing you with a basic overview of the major anti-discrimination laws that might protect you at your job.
Protection against racial discrimination
Racial discrimination by employers is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Employers may not discriminate against workers or applicants because of their skin color, race, or other characteristics that might be associated with race.
Employers, managers, and other workers are also prohibited from harassing workers because of their protected characteristics. Employment practices that might be facially neutral may still violate the law if they have a disparately negative impact on members of a specific race.
Protection against gender discrimination
Gender discrimination is similarly prohibited at work under Title VII. Gender discrimination includes discrimination based on a person’s sex, his or her involvement with a gender organization, the person’s homosexuality, or the person’s transgender status.
Protection against age discrimination
Workers who are ages 40 or older are protected against workplace age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Employers may not discriminate against older workers in favor of younger workers in hiring, promotions, benefits, and retirement.
Protection against religious discrimination
Title VII protects workers from discrimination based on their religious beliefs while they are at work. People who are not members of an organized religion but still have strong ethical or moral beliefs are also protected by Title VII’s prohibition against religious discrimination.
Protection against pregnancy discrimination
Women who are pregnant, have given birth, or who are suffering from conditions that are related to childbirth or pregnancy are protected from discrimination under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. In addition, women may also have rights to be provided reasonable accommodations or leave because of pregnancy or childbirth under the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Protection against disability discrimination
Disabled workers are protected against disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. People who have disabilities or who are perceived to be disabled are protected. Employers must provide disabled workers with reasonable accommodations so that they can do their jobs unless the accommodations would place undue hardships on the employers.
Protection against pay discrimination
Workers must be paid equally for their work regardless of their gender when the tasks of their jobs are essentially the same. These protections are found in the Equal Pay Act. Under the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, women have been given more time to file their claims. Title VII, the ADA, and the ADEA also mandate that workers are paid equally for their work without regard to their race, religion, national origin, or other protected characteristic.
Protection against sexual harassment
Regardless of gender, workers are protected at work from sexual harassment. This includes both quid pro quo harassment and hostile workplace harassment.
Protection against national origin discrimination
Workers are protected against workplace discrimination based on their national origins, ethnicity, or other associated characteristics. Workers who merely appear as if they come from a specific ethnic background are also protected. People are also protected from discrimination because of their immigration status under the Immigration Reform and Control Act.
Protection against genetic information discrimination
Because of genetic testing, workers are now protected against discrimination based on their genetic information under Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. Employers are not allowed to base their employment decisions on their employees’ genetic information.
Contact Swartz Swidler
There are many types of prohibited employment discrimination, and these federal laws are meant to protect workers from suffering discrimination or harassment at their jobs on the basis of their protected characteristics. To learn more about the protections that you have, call Swartz Swidler today to schedule a consultation.