Federal and State laws prevent employers from discriminating against applicants or employees on the basis of their race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, or disability when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training opportunities, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment. Employers are also required to make certain religious and disability accommodations for their employees, and failure to do so can be considered discriminatory.
Race & Color Discrimination
Race discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because he/she is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race (such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features).
Color discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of skin color complexion. Race/color discrimination also can involve treating someone unfavorably because the person is married to (or associated with) a person of a certain race or color.
Discrimination can occur when the victim and the person who inflicted the discrimination are the same race or color.
Religious discrimination involves treating a person (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs. The law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism but also others who have sincerely held religious, ethical, or moral beliefs. Religious discrimination can also involve treating someone differently because that person is married to (or associated with) an individual of a particular religion.
Federal law also prohibits workplace or job segregation based on religion (including religious garb and grooming practices), such as assigning an employee to a non-customer contact position because of actual or feared customer preference.
Federal law requires employers to reasonably accommodate an employee's religious beliefs or practices unless doing so would cause more than a minimal burden on the operations of the employer's business. This means an employer may be required to make reasonable adjustments to the work environment that will allow an employee to practice his or her religion.
Examples of some common religious accommodations include flexible scheduling, voluntary shift substitutions or swaps, job reassignments, and modifications to workplace policies or practices.
Sex discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of that person's sex. Discrimination against an individual because of gender identity, including transgender status, or because of sexual orientation is discrimination because of sex in violation of Federal law.
Age discrimination involves treating an applicant or employee less favorably because of his or her age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the Arizona Civil Rights Act forbid age discrimination against people who are 40 or older. It does not protect workers under the age of 40. It is not illegal for an employer or other covered entity to favor an older worker over a younger one, even if both workers are age 40 or older.
An employment policy or practice that applies to everyone, regardless of age, can be illegal if it has a negative impact on applicants or employees age 40 or older and is not based on a reasonable factor other than age.
Nation Origin Discrimination
National origin discrimination involves treating people (applicants or employees) unfavorably because they are from a particular country or part of the world, because of ethnicity or accent, or because they appear to be of a certain ethnic background (even if they are not).
National origin discrimination also can involve treating people unfavorably because they are married to (or associated with) a person of a certain national origin.
Discrimination can occur when the victim and the person who inflicted the discrimination are the same national origin.
Disability discrimination occurs when an employer treats a qualified individual with a disability who is an employee or applicant unfavorably because he or she has a disability.
Disability discrimination also occurs when a covered employer or other entity treats an applicant or employee less favorably because he or she has a history of a disability (such as a past major depressive episode) or because he or she is believed to have a physical or mental impairment even if he or she does not have such an impairment.
ADA Reasonable Accommodations
Federal and State law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees and job applicants with a disability (mental or physical) unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer.
A reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment (or in the way things are usually done) to help a person with a disability apply for a job, perform the duties of a job, or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment. Reasonable accommodation might include making the workplace accessible for wheelchair users or providing a reader or interpreter for someone who is blind or hearing impaired.
If you need assistance securing a reasonable accommodation or your employer denied a reasonable accommodation, contact Moosbrugger Law to find out how we can help.