What Are 6 Classes Protected From Discrimination in the Workplace?

December 28, 2023

What Are 6 Classes Protected From Discrimination in the Workplace?

Gender is protected from discrimination in the workplace

Discrimination in the workplace is a far too common practice, and people discriminated against still have a difficult time reporting claims.

There are many signs of discrimination in the workplace, including:

  • Wrongful termination – being terminated from a job for unlawful reasons.
  • Harassment – this can include unwanted sexual advancements or bullying.
  • Retaliation – being punished for reporting a legally protected act such as discrimination.

Discrimination in the workplace is illegal. However, a study from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported that only 30 percent of discriminated employees made complaints to their employer, while not even 15 percent filed a legal complaint. 

There are different classes that are protected under California law. According to the California State Senate, protected classes include:

Race – All employees have the right to a workplace free of being discriminated against because of their racial background.  Racial discrimination in the workplace can be both direct or indirect.

Direct discrimination can occur when a specific racial group is given favoritism over another.

Indirect discrimination can occur when a company policy intended for everyone discriminates against a certain person because of their race.

Sex/Gender – Employees cannot be discriminated against on the basis of their gender. Still,  42 percent of women say they have experienced gender discrimination in the workplace.

Many women report sexual harassment. In fact, sexual harassment claims increased between 2018 and 2021

Disability –  In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was created to help protect disabled workers. Over thirty years later, there are still challenges. Studies show that the unemployment rate amongst disabled persons is about two times higher than those without a disability

Some company’s refuse to make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees, which is a direct violation of the law. Occasionally, companies won’t even hire disabled employees to avoid making such accommodations. 

Sexual Orientation/Identity – 20 states, including California, have strict laws to prevent discriminating against an employee based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Still, claims are high across the country. For example, 27 percent of transgender workers claim they were not hired, fired, or not promoted

From 2017 to 2021, the EEOC received over 9,000 sexual orientation or gender identity claims of discrimination in the workplace. This includes a six percent increase in the two most recent years of their study. 

Hiring/firing on the basis of race is illegal and protected against in the workplace

Age – The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967 was designed to protect employees over the age 40 from discrimination in the workplace. Signs of age discrimination may include being treated differently than younger colleagues, being denied a promotion because of your age, or even comments referring to your age as a derogatory drawback. 

A 2022 study found that 41 percent of all employees over 40 feel they were passed on for a raise or promotion on the basis of their age.  

Pregnancy – It is illegal for employees to be retaliated against, disciplined, or terminated as a result of their pregnancy. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 was designed to protect pregnant women and recent mothers. 

Still, 1 in 5 mothers say they have experienced pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. 

Discrimination in the workplace is unacceptable. All employees deserve the right to a safe space for work. If you were a victim of discrimination, you may have a case.

The Los Angeles Discrimination Attorneys at C&B Law Group are familiar with the ever-changing landscape of employment law. Our team has decades of combined experience helping employees who have been victims of discrimination.  

If you believe you have been discriminated against, it’s important to have someone on your side to help you through the difficult process. Thankfully, there are many federal and state laws designed to help protect classes from discrimination.  

It can still be a very daunting process. You may feel like your back is against a wall.

At C&B Law Group, our discrimination attorneys in Los Angeles are here to assist you, with a goal to help ease your stress while helping you receive compensation for your claim. 

We’ve helped recover millions of dollars for clients in cases involving discrimination. This includes two separate million dollar settlements, one regarding age and another regarding disability discrimination. 

Let the Burbank discrimination attorneys at C&B Law Group help you.

Reach out today for a free consultation

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