Workplace discrimination basics for employers and employees

Both employees and employers should understand the basics of workplace discrimination, what is not allowed in the workplace and how to prevent it from taking place. Additionally, employees should understand that they are protected from workplace discrimination and have important legal rights to not be discriminated against at work that they should be familiar with.

In general, workplace discrimination is prohibited in the workplace based on race, color, gender, national origin, citizenship, religion, disability, age and pregnancy. In some states, additional protections are provided based on sexual orientation, marital status and weight. Whether or not workplace discrimination prohibitions apply to a particular employer largely depends on the number of workers they employ so it is helpful to be familiar with those standards.

Employees cannot be terminated in retaliation for making a workplace discrimination claim. Additionally, if the employer refuses to promote the employee, or demotes them, because of a claim they have made about workplace discrimination it may also be considered prohibited workplace discrimination and unlawful retaliation. Employers should take employee complaints of workplace discrimination seriously. They should be investigated and any workplace discrimination concerns should be promptly remedied.

It is essential for employees to be familiar with their workplace rights and to know how to enforce those rights. Different legal options may be available to them, depending on the circumstances, to safeguard those rights. Important protections are available to them to ensure they have a safe workplace in which they can be productive and earn a living to support their families.

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