In the United States, several measures have been put in place in an effort to prevent discrimination of any kind in the workplace. Workplace discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee or prospective employee in a prejudicial manner because of his or her race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or other factors. These prejudices can affect hiring, firing, promotions, salary, benefits, job training, or assignments. If any employee feels like he or she has been discriminated against, he or she has the right to file a complaint and/or a lawsuit against the company, which can result in negative consequences toward the employer.
Types of Discrimination
There are many different aspects that can serve as a basis for discrimination, which is prohibited by law. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), workplace discrimination can be based on:
Age: Federal law and Illinois state law prohibit employers from treating employees less favorably because of their age. This law applies to employees who are age 40 or older.
Gender identity or sexual orientation: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 specifically prohibits discrimination based on any person’s gender identity or sexual orientation. This makes discriminating against a person because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender illegal.
Race: The Civil Rights Act also makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against a person because of his or her race or characteristics associated with race, such as the color of his or her skin or texture of hair.
Religion: Religious discrimination is not permitted, no matter what the religion. Employers are required to make all reasonable accommodations for an employee’s religion.
Disability: It is illegal to discriminate against any employee or prospective employee because of a true or perceived physical or mental disability. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.
How to Handle Discrimination Claims
As an employer, you have the responsibility of ensuring both you and your employees are not discriminating against or harassing other employees because of any of the above factors. If an employee comes to you and claims that he or she is being discriminated against or harassed by another employee, you are required to take appropriate action to end this. Failure to take any action or not taking appropriate action can result in a lawsuit against your business or sanctions imposed by federal organizations.
Contact an Illinois Employer Defense Attorney
If you are an employer, your response to allegations of discrimination is crucial to the outcome of the situation. If you have been accused of discrimination based on any of the above reasons, you need to contact an experienced Schaumburg, IL employment lawyer right away. At the Miller Law Firm, P.C., we can help you overcome the burden of proof that is placed on you during these accusations of discrimination. We can also help make sure you are practicing fair and equal business policies and procedures. Call our office today at 847-995-1205 to schedule a free consultation.