Is There a Discrimination Law for That?

Lawyers around the nation have found steady interest in the field of workplace discrimination of late. Discrimination law takes violations pretty seriously, and anyone who is provably wrong can ask for some pretty substantial damages when they sue. For some reason, people seem to believe that the discrimination law only exists to help minorities and perhaps women. One way to explain this misconception could be to see that women and minorities are usually most in need of legal protection fighting against discrimination. Let’s take a closer look at what the the law says about workplace discrimination, and how it can help you seek equal treatment at your place of work.

The discrimination law doesn’t guarantee that a person will be treated fairly in every way at work. There are some human qualities that make workplace decisions that employers take quite unfair at times. If you were passed over for promotion just because someone higher up doesn’t like you, no discrimination law can help you there. If you are passed over because you were not the right race or religion or because you are disabled in a way that didn’t affect the way you worked, or it was done because you were old or because you were the wrong sex, in those cases, the laws can help you. If another employee gets preferential treatment because has been on the job longer than you, that’s allowed too. Preferential treatment, including not being laid-off, is all part of the game that employment is all about. Seniority is considered a valid reason to give preference one employee over another.

People wonder if it’s okay to reject a person for employment based on their race or their color or their sex in every case. Now a modeling agency can certainly get away with picking people of a certain race or sex or age over the other. They are there to sell products, and the law doesn’t get in the way of public taste as it is perceived by the modeling agency. What a modeling agency cannot do is refuse to hire a model because she happens to be a mother of small children and won’t be on call at all times. There is no way for the rejected employee to prove this against the employer, but it’s illegal.

Finally, is there a discrimination law protecting people who are gay? A definite maybe would be the answer to that one. In the movie Philadelphia, Tom Hanks’ character wonders if one of the reasons he was dismissed was that he was gay. In some states like California, the discrimination laws do protect a person from this kind of discrimination. Still, minor discrimination that can be chalked up to individual human folly can’t really bring a person much legal relief. The discrimination would have to be pretty serious.

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