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What Is Considered Discrimination?

Jan. 22, 2019

The term discrimination is often thrown around when an individual feels singled out or faces an unfavorable situation. However, when it comes to legal perspective, discrimination refers to a prejudicial or unjust behavior towards an individual or group of people on the grounds of certain characteristics. These characteristics may include age, gender, religion, race, ethnicity, national origin, marital status, and disability, among others.

In the United States, about 4 in 10 working women claim that they have faced prejudiced and discriminating behavior due to their gender, as per The U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission categorically states that on-the-job discrimination is illegal under different federal laws, including:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

  • Equal Pay Act of 1963, Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967

  • Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

  • Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

  • Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994

What Is Considered as Discrimination?

It is important to understand that not all types of discrimination will result in the violation of discrimination laws. There are some kinds of discriminatory behaviors that are legal and do not provide the basis for civil rights infringement.

For example, if an individual with 3 pet dogs fills out an application for renting an apartment, but their application is rejected by the landlord as (s)he does not want dogs in their apartment. In this case, there is no violation of civil rights as the applicant was solely discriminated due to their status as a pet owner.

Let’s take another example, if an individual with certain religious beliefs says Hinduism while filling out an application for renting an apartment, but their application is rejected by the landlord due to their religious background (the homeowner preferred to have Christian tenants in their building) then in such a scenario, the civil rights of an individual have been violated as they have been discriminated due to their religious background.

These are just a couple of examples, but it may provide you an idea of what constitutes as discriminatory behavior. Discrimination can occur in employment, education, health care services, housing, public accommodations, lending and credit, transportation, and a different number of settings.

For instance, if you have faced a rejection from the job and you believe the decision was not based on the merits or your qualification, but the prejudiced behavior was related to your characteristics, you can contact an experienced employment discrimination lawyer to pursue a legal claim against the wrongdoer to assess whether you have a valid claim.

A skillful employment discrimination lawyer will assess your case based on the facts and evidence that you present to them. If there is a valid claim, they will collect evidence and devise a strong case in your favor to help you seek justice.

Using their proficiency and knowledge related to several anti-discrimination laws, a competent employment discrimination lawyer will ensure that your rights remain protected and your employer cannot act against you with immunity from law and order.

If you want to know more about this subject or want to schedule a free consultation with an experienced employment discrimination lawyer, it is highly recommended for you to contact the Law Office of Michael Smith at (847) 220-5197.