Many people in California are concerned about employment discrimination, especially with reports of serious racial and gender discrimination reaching even major corporations. In 2019 alone, there were 72,675 complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission about discrimination on the job. While people may think first of the better-known and persistent types of discrimination when they consider bias at work, there are some lesser-recognized forms that can still impose a costly and unlawful burden on employees. Some workers subjected to these types of discrimination may not realize that the perpetrators are violating the law.
Pregnancy discrimination, one form of sex discrimination, continues to have a significant impact on women workers. Women who become pregnant in professional careers may be denied opportunities for advancement and promotion, or they may be seen as caring less about their careers by opting to have a child. Women in production fields may be pulled away from their jobs or dismissed due to stated concerns about their safety that instead leave them without an income. Discrimination against pregnant workers has been explicitly prohibited since 1978, but serious problems persist across the country. Pregnant women may be denied accommodations that allow them to keep working, and even high-powered executives may face a career downgrade.
Age discrimination is another serious problem, especially as many people over 65 find that they need to keep working in order to sustain their lives and pay their bills. However, almost two-thirds of American workers over 45 said in one study that they had witnessed or experienced age discrimination personally. These incidents include being passed over for hiring or promotions due to their age or discriminatory beliefs about their limitations.
Employees also experience workplace discrimination based on religion, disability and other protected characteristics. An employment law attorney may help victims of unlawful discrimination take action and pursue justice.