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What qualifies as workplace discrimination?

Federal and state laws protect workers here in Texas and elsewhere from being denied employment opportunities based on certain characteristics over which they have no control. The U.S Department of Justice outlines certain types of workplace discrimination prohibited by law. If an employee believes that he or she faces discrimination for one of the following, legal action could be warranted.

An employer cannot discriminate against someone based on that person's race or skin color (for example, African American or Asian). If an individual is from another country, the law protects him or her from discrimination by an employer based on that fact. Sex discrimination occurs when an employer is biased against an employee based on gender, gender identity or because of pregnancy.

Most people are aware of the aforementioned biases, but an individual could also face discrimination due to religious affiliation. This might not be difficult to believe, but Texas residents might be surprised to know that members of the Armed Forces are also protected from discrimination. Some employers deny active duty or reserve military members job opportunities because they serve. People are denied job promotions, raises and even employment based on these factors every day in the United States. Others are forced to endure harassment, degradation and other demeaning behavior from people with which they work.

Another factor that often accompanies workplace discrimination is retaliation -- especially if the victim lodges a complaint. If you experience discrimination at work and your work environment becomes hostile, then you would more than likely benefit from exploring your legal options. An attorney can advise you of your rights and assist you with determining your next course of action.

Source: justice.gov, "Types of Employment Discrimination", Accessed on March 27, 2017

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