Identifying Discrimination in the Workplace

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Across America, unsuspecting employees are being discriminated against by their employers. At times, the employer's discriminatory acts or policies are unintentional. Other times, however, employers are purposefully discriminating against their employees for their own benefit. Whether or not the discrimination is intentional is unimportant because workplace discrimination is illegal and should be rebuffed. This legal guide is designed to help employees identify workplace discrimination and protect their rights.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964

Many of the protections afforded to employees come directly from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Act makes it illegal for an employer, with at least 15 employees, to discriminate against an employee on the basis of color, gender, national origin, race, or religion. Discrimination based on these categories includes failing to hire, termination or demotion, or taking any other action that negatively affects the terms and conditions of employment.

The Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act applies to an employers who employ 15 or more employees. This act protects employees from being discriminated against based on their actual or perceived disability. In order to be protected under this Act, an employee must be a qualified individual with a disability, meaning she is able to perform her job duties with or without an accommodation. Discrimination under this act may manifest itself as failure to hire, termination or demotion, or failure to accommodate a reasonable request for an accommodation.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act

Under this Act, employers with 20 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against persons based on their age. In order to be protected under this Act, an employee must be at least 40 years old and have been discriminated against because of his or her age. Many times, this occurs by being replaced by a younger employee. However, that is not the only method of discrimination under this Act.


This guide was intended to help employees identify employment discrimination in the workplace. However, navigating the various employment laws can be very difficult to do on your own. If you feel that you have been a victim of employment discrimination, contact an employment attorney to help you through the process.

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