Race, Sex & Age Discrimination

The Civil Rights Act that was passed in 1964 made it illegal for any employer to discriminate based on race or gender in regards to terms or conditions of employment. Even though it seems as though we’ve come a long way since 1964, racial and gender discrimination still exists.

Not only is it illegal for an employer to discriminate based on race, but it is also illegal to discriminate because an employee is married to, or spends time with, people of a specific race. Discrimination in the workplace can be committed against an employee or even an applicant for employment.

It is also illegal to discriminate based on age according to the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 that protects workers from any type of different treatment based on age. An employer who violates this act is subject to fines and can be held liable to compensate that employee.

Terms and conditions of employment can include many different things, including:

  • Pay rate
  • Whether or not to hire an applicant
  • Title
  • Promotion
  • Benefits

If an employer makes any decisions that affect any term or condition of employment, based on race, gender, or age, he or she has committed a crime. A case will have to be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and that can be a little daunting, which is why it is important to contact the personal injury attorneys at The Cochran Firm.

Like race discrimination, gender discrimination is also prevalent in the United States. Employers are required to pay both their male and female employees equal pay if they have the same job, with the same responsibilities, in the same work environment. If it is determined that an employer has violated this law, they are forced to increase the wages of the employee being paid less, not decrease the wages of the higher paid employee. Sometimes this can be difficult to prove, however, because the employer will make an effort to show that the employee receiving higher wages is receiving them because of some other factor, such as seniority or merit.

Gender roles often come in to play when employers are looking to hire new employees. There have been cases where an employer has refused to hire a woman with preschool aged children, but he did hire men with children the same age. This is because his preconceived gender roles told him it was the mothers job to watch the children. Regardless of the fact that, overall, this employer had more women than men on staff, this is still a form of discrimination.

Like race and sex, age is the result of nature instead of your free choice. Age discrimination attacks your sense of self-worth in a way similar to race and gender discrimination. Age discrimination is defined as a “systematic stereotyping of and discrimination against people because they are old, just as racism and sexism accomplish this with skin color and gender.”

Our experienced employment lawyers know how to recognize the hidden patterns that employers engage in. We represent clients in various industries and have noticed a widespread perception that younger workers are often less expensive, less likely to get hurt or sustain a disability, easier to manage, and less likely to know about their workplace rights.

Examples of unlawful harassment and discrimination because of age include:

  • Denial of employment because someone is considered “too old”
  • Hiring another candidate just because they are younger
  • Denial of training, education, or other benefits to older people
  • Reduction in forces/layoffs that disproportionately affect older people
  • Making jokes or unwanted comments on the basis of age
  • Assignment of undesirable or demeaning tasks to older employees only
  • Lower pay for the same work
  • Making a job more difficult to encourage someone to quit

Any termination that affects older employees disproportionately than younger workers, or policies that provide educational benefits or training only to younger employees is also discriminatory.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of racial, gender, or age discrimination and would like to learn more about your legal rights regarding discrimination, please contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Cochran Firm, with offices nationwide, today for your free, no-obligation consultation.