Discrimination & Harassment

Federal and state law, with few exceptions, prohibits employers from discriminating against you because of your age, disability, gender, gender identity, pregnancy, military status, national origin, race, sexual orientation, or religion. Many of these laws also protect you against harassment, which is a kind of discrimination. For example, the law forbids sexual harassment because it is a form of gender discrimination.

Virginia Discrimination Lawyer

Federal and state law generally prohibits employers from discriminating against you because of your age, disability, gender, gender identity, pregnancy, military status, national origin, race, sexual orientation, or religion. These unlawful reasons for discrimination are known as protected classes or characteristics. Many laws against discrimination also protect you against harassment, as harassment is a kind of discrimination.

To be unlawful, discrimination generally must be based on a protected class. Discrimination can happen in many ways, but the law recognizes two general kinds of discrimination. Disparate treatment discrimination occurs when an employer targets or treats an employee less favorably because the employee’s protected characteristic. Disparate impact discrimination occurs when an employer has a policy that seems unbiased, but the policy has a disproportionately negative impact on employees of a certain protected characteristic.

Discrimination can adversely impact your compensation, hiring, promotion opportunities, job duties, work environment, or conditions of employment. In some cases, discrimination can cause you to lose your job.

Two Kinds of Discrimination: Disparate Treatment or Disparate Impact

To be unlawful, discrimination generally must be based on a protected class. Discrimination can happen in many ways, but the law recognizes two general kinds of discrimination. Disparate treatment discrimination occurs when an employer targets or treats an employee less favorably because the employee’s protected characteristic. Disparate impact discrimination occurs when an employer has a policy that seems unbiased, but the policy has a disproportionately negative impact on employees of a certain protected characteristic.

Discrimination can adversely impact your compensation, hiring, promotion opportunities, job duties, work environment, or conditions of employment. In some cases, discrimination can cause you to lose your job.

What is Harassment?

Harassment is a kind of disparate treatment discrimination. It generally involves offensive or intimidating conduct by an employer, supervisor, or co-worker, because of your protected class, that is so severe or frequent it creates an abusive work environment. Harassment can take many forms. It can include unwelcome advances or touching. It can also include sexually or racially offensive comments or behavior.

Harassment may, or may not, cause you to lose your job. But it can harm your physical or emotional health. And it can be against the law.

Discrimination & Harassment Practice Areas

AGE DISCRIMINATION

Employers can't discriminate against employees or job applicants 40+ because of age.

FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE

Federal law gives eligible employees the right to take a limited amount of unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.

RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION

The law forbids employers from discriminating against or harassing employees because of their religious beliefs.

DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION

The law generally prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or job applicants on the basis of disability.

GENDER DISCRIMINATION

The law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees and job applicants because of their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

The law prohibits employers from subjecting employees to a work environment that is derogatory or offensive towards employees because of their sex or gender.

EQUAL PAY ISSUES

The Equal Pay Act requires employers to pay women the same as men for doing the same work.

RACE DISCRIMINATION

The law prohibits employers from discriminating against or harassing employees or job applicants because of their race, color, or national origin.

PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION

The law forbids employers from discriminating against or harassing employees because of their pregnancies or conditions relating to childbirth.

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If you believe that you have been discriminated against or harassed because you belong to a protected class, contact attorney Tim Coffield for help.

info@coffieldlaw.com