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What is employment discrimination?

Unfortunately, workplace discrimination is rampant in many companies in Texas and around the country. There are several types of this behavior, and some of them are hard to detect.

Employment law has to be specific when it comes to discrimination. Although a lot of people are discriminated against, not all discrimination is actually illegal. For example, many people would agree that unattractive people get discriminated against. However, physical attractiveness can’t be legally defined, so unattractiveness is not a protected class.

The 12 types of employment discrimination

According to the legal system, employers cannot discriminate against people for certain clearly defined characteristics. These characteristics create protected classes. Here are the main categories of employment discrimination:

  • Disability
  • Age (40 and over)
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Race and color
  • Genetic information
  • Gender and sexual orientation
  • Parental status
  • Pregnancy

If an employee complains about discrimination or takes legal action against an employer they view as discriminatory, the employer is barred from retaliating against that employee. The validity of the employee’s complaint and the success of their lawsuit do not matter when it comes to retaliation laws. So, in a way, employees who have complained about suspected discrimination are a protected class themselves.

Remedies for discrimination

There are a few things that people can do when they believe that they have been the victim of unlawful workplace discrimination. If talking about the issue with a supervisor is uncomfortable or not feasible, human resources might be the next step. However, if the situation remains unchanged or gets worse, then filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission could be in order.