5 Most Common Types of Workplace Discrimination

Employment Law News | April 22, 2021

In New York, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate or discriminate against their employees on the basis of sex, race, and other protected classes. If you have faced discrimination at your New York workplace, you may have grounds to file a complaint or lawsuit against your employer. However, you will need to prove that you experienced an illegal form of discrimination that affected your employment.

Retaliation Discrimination

Employees have the right to act if they witness a wrongful act. An employer cannot retaliate against an employee for filing a discrimination claim or whistleblower report against the company, even if the report finds that no discrimination or wrongdoing occurred. If an employer does retaliate against an employee, he or she could face liability.

Retaliation involves any act that negatively affects an employee’s work environment, including the following.

  • Reducing an employee’s pay or revoking his or her benefits
  • Assigning an employee to a different department or job
  • Terminating or demoting the employee
  • Declining to promote the employee or offer a pay raise
  • Transferring the employee to another location

Sex Discrimination

Sex discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee unfairly on the basis of his or her sex. This includes discrimination against transgender individuals, as well as cases of sexual harassment. Additionally, an employer can commit sex discrimination while vetting and interviewing applicants.

Many actions rise to the level of sex discrimination, including the following.

  • Paying unequal wages for the same work due to gender
  • Providing different benefits packages based on gender
  • Declining to promote or provide a raise to an employee based on gender
  • Making inappropriate sexual comments to an employee
  • Sending unwanted sexual photos or messages
  • Making unwanted sexual advances and jokes
  • Preferring candidates of a certain gender over others, even if they are less qualified
  • Asking applicants different questions based on their gender, such as questions about marital status, children, or pregnancy

Race Discrimination

Another type of workplace discrimination involves an employee’s race. Race discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee in a negative manner due to his or her race. Examples of workplace race discrimination include the following.

  • Harassing an employee based on his or her race
  • Refusing to promote or provide raises to employees based on race
  • Implementing policies that target one racial group over another
  • Firing employees based on race
  • Showing favoritism to a certain racial group during the hiring process

Disability Discrimination

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers cannot discriminate against an employee based on his or her disability. Examples of disability discrimination include the following.

  • Refusing to hire a candidate based on his or her disability
  • Paying disabled employees less than their non-disabled counterparts
  • Denying benefits to disabled employees
  • Failing to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees

Age Discrimination

Many older people face discrimination in the workplace simply because of their age. Under federal law, however, employers cannot show preferential treatment to younger employees over older ones. Examples of workplace age discrimination include the following.

  • Firing older employees over younger ones
  • Showing preferential treatment based on age during hiring
  • Making offensive or derogatory remarks about a person’s age
  • Providing a different benefits package to older employees

Contact a New York Discrimination Lawyer

Have you faced discrimination at your workplace? In these situations, you need a discrimination attorney on your side. A New York employment discrimination lawyer can help you hold your employer accountable, helping you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.