Discriminatory acts may not be conducted by an employer against those that are considered members of a protected class. There are many classes that are protected by law including age, religion, gender and race, among others. An employer that has implemented policies or committed any acts that infringe upon the protections afforded to those in a protected class may face a legal claim from those that are negatively impacted.
Employees, those seeking employment and former employees that have been terminated from their employment are all afforded these protections. They may be unsure, however, regarding what types of practices or policies may be found to be discriminatory. Discrimination may be conducted against those in the process of seeking employment. Such discrimination may be found in job advertisements that discourage an applicant due to unnecessary qualifications that may disqualify them, failing to hire a qualified employee because of their protected class and recruiting activities that are only performed in one language.
Discrimination can also be conducted against those that are currently employed. A promotion opportunity may be based on an unnecessary or unfair test, a job assignment may preclude employees of a certain age or ethnicity from being able to qualify and employees that are female or an ethic minority may receive less pay for performing identical work as other employees. Finally, an employee cannot legally be terminated from employment or harassed and subjected to a hostile work environment as a result of their membership in a protected class.
Employees are provided various protections in the workplace, including against employment discrimination. Those that feel they have been subjected to any of the activities or policies described above may seek the assistance of an employment law attorney to evaluate their claim.
Source: eeoc.gov, "Prohibited Employment Policies/Practices," accessed on Apr. 5, 2015