Discrimination against employees or job seekers based on race, religion, gender, national origin and a host of other factors is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Many other federal and state laws exist, making it illegal for employers to discriminate in the hiring process, firing, promoting and referring as well as any other facets of their employment practices and policies.

Types of workplace discrimination

In addition to the factors mentioned above, workers face discriminatory practices over:

  • Ethnicity
  • Skin color
  • Age
  • Compensation
  • Mental or physical disabilities
  • Genetic information
  • Relationship to another person who may be the target of discrimination
  • Pregnancy
  • Parenthood

Employment discrimination examples

Discrimination can happen in a wide variety of circumstances, including these examples:

  • The employer lists or suggests preferred candidates in a job posting
  • Potential candidates are excluded during the recruitment phase
  • Certain employees are denied benefits or compensation
  • Equally-qualified workers are paid different amounts for the same position
  • Workers do not receive equal disability or maternity leave, or retirement opportunities
  • Employees who are denied the use of company facilities
  • Employees treated unfairly over promotions or layoffs

Harassment vs. discrimination

While many consider these illegal actions to be the same, harassment is actually a form of discrimination. There are also many different types of harassment, including unwanted behavior for any reason from a manager, co-worker or anyone else in the workplace. Sexual harassment is one of the most frequent complaints received by the EEOC.

Seek knowledgeable and compassionate legal representation

Many employees suffer from hostile work environments when harassment or discrimination interferes with their ability to do their jobs, or their right to be treated equally with other workers. If you are the target of workplace discrimination, an experienced and compassionate employment law attorney here in West Virginia will protect your rights and help you with every step of the process and fight for the compensation you deserve.