Discrimination and harassment in the workplace may make every day a challenge for workers facing such treatment. On a daily basis, victims in these situations may face a hostile work environment and concerns related to a demotion, wrongful termination or retaliation from an employer for reporting the illegal conduct they are subjected to. It is illegal for an employer to fire an employee in retaliation for reporting illegal conduct or to treat them differently.
Discrimination in the workplace is illegal and may be based on race or ethnicity, national origin, gender, pregnancy, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability and military service status. Victims in these protected classes who have experienced discrimination in the workplace can bring a claim to receive compensation for the emotional damages they may have suffered in addition to financial damages, such as lost wages, among other types of damages that may be available.
In addition to discrimination, harassment in the workplace is also not permitted. Sexual harassment can manifest in different forms that may be actionable through a claim for damages. If the sexual harassment is persistent and offensive, the employer may be responsible for creating or allowing a hostile work environment. If the employer engages in quid pro quo sexual harassment by demanding the employee endure sexualized behaviors in exchange for advancement or not firing the employee, the employer may also be liable to the victim for damages.
Workers spend a significant portion of their lives in their workplaces and they are entitled to a safe place. When that has been violated and they have been subjected to discrimination or harassment in the workplace, it is important they are familiar with their legal rights and remedies and how to pursue them when needed.