Friday, June 07, 2013

What is employment discrimination?

According to, there are several ways in which employers can discriminate against job applicants and employees, including denying you a job based on your race, or paying you less money because of your country of origin.  Some of the main types of discrimination are:

Discrimination by Race or Color
Race discrimination occurs when an employer treats you unfavorably because of your race.  For example, employers cannot:
Deny you employment or harass you at work because of your racial characteristics, including your skin color, facial features, hair type, etc.

Sex-based Discrimination
It is illegal to discriminate against you based on your sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.  Examples include:
Sexual harassment at work, including unwelcome sexual advances or sexual favors.
Offensive remarks about someone's sex or gender identity.

Disability Discrimination
People with disabilities have protections under federal laws and cannot be treated unfavorably in the workplace.  For example:
Employers cannot ask you whether you have a physical or mental disability, only if you are able to perform a certain job.

Age Discrimination
The law protects both job applicants and employees who are age 40 or older from discrimination. For example, employers cannot:
Advertise age preferences of applicants in job postings.

The complete article can be read here.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has a full list of discrimination practices by type and other resources here.

For the resources available through the Trial Court Law Libraries' website access Mass. Law about Discrimination and Mass. Law about Employment.