How Do You Know if You’ve Been Discriminated Against in the Workplace?

Many people may think they have been discriminated against in the workplace, and they may be, but did you know that the measure for discrimination in the workplace is something we call a “Protected Class”?

This is really important because there are bosses, co-workers, and management who may be really bad at what they do – they be unfair, they may be punitive or show obvious favoritism, and they may even scream and yell at you. But as unfair as this is, did you know that all of this could be 100% legal? Screaming and yelling at an employee and treating them poorly at work is not necessarily illegal. Shocking and sad, I know – but unfair doesn’t necessarily equal illegal.

When these things could cross the line to potentially becoming unlawful are when they are done to an employee at work, that employee is part of a “Protected Class”, and the employer is directing this discrimintaury behavior at the employee based upon their protected class status. A Protected Class refers to a group of people that are protected under Federal and State law from discrimination in the workplace.

So what does this mean? It means that if a boss yells at all of his employees every day, that is not necessarily discriminatory or unlawful. However, if the boss only yells at or belittles his employees that are women, calling them names or singling them out based on their gender; or if the employer only yells at or belittles employees that are of a certain ethnicity, and/or makes comments about the employees’ race or ethnicity, then that crosses the line to unlawful.

Federal Law states that an employer cannot discriminate against someone based on race, religion, creed, gender, age, and/or national origin.

States can also add their own protected classes onto state law in addition to the groups protected by the Federal government.

Did you know that in CA hair style is also a protected class?

So, if your employer does the things mentioned above, and you are a member of a Protected Class, then you may have a legal claim against your employer.

If you have any questions about any of these areas, please call, text or email us to speak to an attorney.