What is the EEOC & What Do They Protect?
The federal governing body for employment discrimination issues is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Because of his time working with the EEOC, founding attorney Fred Sinkevich has been able to gain extensive knowledge of working with employment issues, including employment discrimination. The EEOC groups discrimination into the following categories:
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) forbids discrimination against any employee or applicant over the age of 40. This law does not protect anyone under 40. Some cities and states may have laws in place to protect younger workers, depending on your jurisdiction.
An employer may not treat a qualified applicant or employee less favorably because he or she has a disability. This is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The law requires the employer to provide reasonable accommodation to the employee or applicant, unless doing so would be expensive for the employer or cause significant difficulty for the employer.
Equal Pay & Compensation
Discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status, is protected by the Equal Pay Act (EPA). This is also covered by the EEOC under Title VII, the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This means an employer cannot discriminate against a qualified employee or applicant based on gender identity in the areas of hiring, pay, promotions, assignments, training, layoffs, benefits or firing.
Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) states that employers may not use genetic information with regards to employment decisions or any type of harassment or retaliation.
Harassment involves unwelcome actions in the workplace. Harassment can be based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetic information. This includes pregnancy and discrimination for persons 40 or older.
You are protected from unfair treatment or discrimination based on your country or place of origin if you’re an employee, applicant or spouse in the workplace. This includes discrimination from someone from the same country or place or origin.
Pregnancy, childbirth and other related medical conditions are covered under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978. Pregnancy and related issues are not covered under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). This is because pregnancy is not considered a disability. This means an employer cannot discriminate against a qualified woman because she’s pregnant, or other terms of employment including pay, promotions, assignments, training, layoffs, benefits or firing.
Race & Color
It is illegal to treat an applicant or employee unfavorably based on their race, or based on personal characteristics of their race, like hair color, skin color or facial features. Discrimination also occurs when the person or people doing the harassing is also of the same race. Spouses are also protected under this law.
Treating someone unfairly because of their personal religious beliefs is religious discrimination and it is illegal. This protects not only people involved with traditional Christian organizations but also followers of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism. People with sincerely held religious, ethical and moral beliefs also fall under the umbrella of protection, as do spouses.
The law states that job applicants and employees cannot be punished for asserting their rights to speak up about workplace discrimination. You should not have to fear negative consequences in the workplace for speaking up.
Discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status, is protected by the Equal Pay Act (EPA). Gender protection is also covered by the EEOC under Title VII, the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This means an employer cannot discriminate against a qualified employee or applicant in the areas of hiring, pay, promotions, assignments, training, layoffs, benefits or firing.
It’s illegal to harass any employee or applicant because of their gender. Sexual harassment involves unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors plus any other physical or verbal harassment of a sexual nature.
If you or someone you know has been subjected to workplace discrimination under any of these areas, please don’t hesitate to contact Sinkevich Law Firm or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
This page is provided for informational purposes only and not to be used as legal advice. Contact Sinkevich Law Firm for more information.