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The Basics of Sex and Age Discrimination at Workplace

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has enforced several laws that protect employees from discrimination based on everything from religion and physical ability to age and sex. While there are federal laws in place against workplace discrimination, most states have also passed some laws that take additional measures against it. Some of the state laws are more favorable in certain circumstances as compared to federal laws and can better safeguard the employees and their rights.

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The foThe following are the two most common types of discrimination that employees experience in the workplace:

Sex Discrimination

The Civil Rights Act of 1964: Title VII clearly outlines that it is against the law to discriminate between employees based on their sex or gender. The law provides protection at all stages including recruitment, during employment, workplace terms and conditions, and termination.

Sex discrimination is of two types: indirect and direct. Indirect sex discrimination refers to assumptions by managers or employers regarding the sort of job duties men and women are or aren't capable of doing. Direct sex discrimination refers to the unfair treatment of employees because of their gender.

Possible situations for sex discrimination include:

  • Dividing tasks based on gender.
  • Offering men and women different pay rates or employee benefits for the same position.
  • Not considering men or women for specific roles.
  • Not hiring a male or female because the employer thinks they won't fit into the workplace culture.
  • Not promoting a male or female employee to a senior position on the assumption that other staff won't respect their authority.

Age Discrimination

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) outlines laws and regulations that protects employees against discrimination based on their age. The ADEA applies to organizations that have 20 or more employees, including local and state governments. It also applies to labor organizations and employment agencies, as well as the federal government. Just like sex discrimination, the laws safeguard employees at all stages of employment.

Possible situations for age discrimination include:

  • Not hiring young employees on the assumption that they may switch to another job too quickly.
  • Not hiring mature workers on the assumption that their retirement is close.
  • Posting job advertisements specifying the requirements of "young and energetic" workers.
  • Not providing equal training opportunities to employees based on their age.
  • Not interviewing someone because they are too old or too young to fit in the organization's culture and with other staff.
  • Forcing someone to retire, or making choice around redundancy because of their age.
  • Preferring young individuals over mature employees on the assumption that they will be more productive and work longer hours for a smaller paycheck.
  • Preferring mature individuals over young employees on the basis of experience and competency.

Aside from these two forms of workplace discrimination, there are several others including color, religion, race, retaliation, pregnancy, national origin, and pay/compensation. If you think that you are a victim of workplace discrimination and your employer is not treating you fairly, you should consult your situation with an experienced Roselle wrongful termination attorney. Contact the Law Office of Michael T. Smith today at 847.895.0626 for a consultation.

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