Employment Law and Discrimination in the Workplace
Discrimination in the workplace has many complex components, which should only be navigated by an experienced discrimination law attorney. Similar to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers with fifteen (15) or more employees are subject to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Specifically, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee or prospective employee due an individual’s their race, color, national origin, sex, or religion (protected characteristics). The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (the “Act”) embodies two types of discrimination, which fall under the Act; disparate treatment and disparate impact.
Disparate treatment discrimination involves intent to discriminate on the part of the employer due to the fact that the individual being discriminated against possesses one or more of the protected characteristics. In this case, the courts look at the employer’s motive or intent for taking the discriminating employment action against the employee or prospective employee. Disparate impact occurs when the actions taken by the employer are neutral on their “face”, however, the effect burdens an employee or prospective employee who has one or more of the protected characteristics. Intent is irrelevant in this case.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was subsequently amended to include a prohibition against sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. Pregnancy discrimination requires employers to treat any leave requests by pregnant employees the same as they would treat a disabled employee. They are also required to hold a job open for an employee due to pregnancy for as long as they would for an employee on disability leave. In some cases, a male employee may be allowed leave to take care of a newborn child where the mother must go back to work and the father chooses to stay home during that initial critical time.
The Ticktin Law Group is extremely knowledgeable in employment and labor law matters and offers complimentary consultations. If you or someone you know needs an employment law attorney, contact the attorneys of the Ticktin Law Group today!