Discrimination in the workplace should never happen. Companies need to have clear guidelines that forbid this atrocious behavior. There are many types that must be addressed. Supervisors and anyone who works in personnel should have a basic understanding of discrimination so they can ensure it is being avoided.

The impacts of discrimination are considerable for targeted workers. They often have to deal with a hostile work environment and negative work actions. For these workers, taking action to make the behavior stop is a priority.

Basis of discriminatory behaviors

The basis of discriminatory behaviors is to single out an employee based on a protected status. There are many statuses that are covered in the law. These include:

  • National origin
  • Race
  • Skin color
  • Ethnicity
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Parenthood or pregnancy
  • Gender
  • Religious preferences
  • Relation to a person with a protected status
  • Genetic information

None of those statuses can ever be used during employment decisions in any form. This includes the process from hiring to firing and everything in between.

Types of discrimination

During the hiring process, employers can’t consider protected statuses when vetting candidates. This includes specifying certain demographics in ads for jobs or sorting out candidates based on those statuses. No employer should ask for classifying information, such as gender or race, when they are seeking candidates for a position.

Once a person is hired, they can’t be offered lowered pay or reduced benefits based on any of these statuses. All employees should be treated the same as others who are equally qualified.

When promotions, layoffs and terminations occur, none of the protected statuses can be considered during the decision-making process. Employee records play an important role in vetting cases of discrimination. For example, if an employee has favorable reviews but is suddenly terminated after making a complaint of a supervisor harassing them, there could be discrimination or retaliation in the picture.

Addressing discrimination

One of the first things that employees might opt to do when they are being discriminated against is to file a complaint with the employer. When this doesn’t have any impact on what’s going on, further legal action, including filing a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, might be necessary. Learning your options in California and moving through each step thoroughly is beneficial.