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What can workplace discrimination look like?

While employees in New York are supposed to feel safe and comfortable in their work environment, this unfortunately is not always the case. Employees are afforded certain rights, but sometimes these rights could be violated. One such occurrence in a hostile workplace is employment discrimination.

What can workplace discrimination look like? Even though laws have been in place since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's to bar employers from discriminating against employees on almost any ground, these discriminatory acts still occur in the workplace. They can impact employees in many ways, often attacking the employee's race, national origin, gender or religion.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits an employer that has 15 or more employees from race discrimination, national origin discrimination, gender discrimination or religion discrimination. Under Title VII, it is deemed illegal for an employer to take any of the following actions against an employee if it is based on race, gender, national origin or religion: refuse to hire, discipline, fire, deny training, fail to promote, pay less, demote or harass.

In addition to the above, it is also illegal for an employer to adopt a policy or practice that has a discriminatory impact on a protected class in the hiring or employing process. Discrimination can take other forms as well. This includes equal pay discrimination, age discrimination, pregnancy discrimination and disability discrimination.

If you believe you are a victim of employment discrimination by a potential or current employer, it may be possible to take legal action. You could file an EEOC claim, helping you hold an employer liable and assist you with recovering damages.

Source:, "Employment Discrimination: Overview," accessed March 19, 2017

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