Discrimination in the Workplace is Always Wrong
It is upsetting and demoralizing to face unfair and biased treatment in the workplace. Yet, employment discrimination / workplace discrimination in Pennsylvania runs rampant and often continues for years or is covered up by human resource departments or an employee’s fear of disrupting the work environment.
No one should have to endure improper treatment or harassment based on their gender, sexual orientation, race, age, religion, or perceived disability in their own lives – let alone at their workplace, where it is illegal.
When an employer hires, fires, promotes and determines salaries, they are legally obligated to do so based on ability and job performance, and if their decisions are biased, that is discrimination.
If you are a victim of employment discrimination or sexual harassment at work, our compassionate and experienced Pittsburgh employment lawyers can help.
We offer free case evaluations to anyone who feels they have been discriminated against by their employer.
If you feel you were held down for a promotion you deserved based on gender, sexuality, religion or race, talked to or touched inappropriately, or endured a systemic culture of discrimination that hindered your promotion or advancement on the job, we can help.
Types of Discrimination in The Workplace
Discrimination occurs in all facets of life and sometimes by the people we least expect. Working daily in an environment that makes you feel uncomfortable, singled out and disliked for any reason is unacceptable.
Sometimes discrimination occurs slowly without people realizing it at first and then builds up over the years in a corporate culture of derogatory comments or racial slurs. Sometimes it is subtle and remains that way, yet persists.
Sometimes discrimination / harassment is more serious and happens suddenly and right in your face – or another body part that you would rather not have touched by a coworker or superior – in the form of physical aggression or unwanted verbal sexual advances.
Forms of discrimination in the workplace involve the improper treatment of a person based upon:
- Race Discrimination: Treating a person differently based solely on their race, skin color or ethnicity.
- Age Discrimination: Treating a person differently due to their age. Specifically, individuals who are age forty (40) and older.
- Sexual Harassment: If you experienced sexual harassment on the job, this is also illegal behavior and could also be tied to sexual discrimination. Any unwanted touching or attention, inappropriate comments, unwelcome advances or propositions are harassment. Being terminated for not complying with inappropriate behavior or being demoted or passed for promotions is also sexual harassment.
- Gender / Sex Discrimination: Treating a person differently solely because they are a woman or a man.
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination: Treating a person different due to their sexual preference: gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, queer, transgender or straight.
- Religion / Religious Discrimination: Treating a person differently based on their religion, religious practices, religious beliefs, and/or request for accommodation for legitimate religious reasons.
- Pregnancy: Treating a person differently because they are pregnant or failing to hire or promote a person solely because they are pregnant or may become pregnant. This is a form of sex discrimination.
- Maternity / Paternity Leave: The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take time off following the birth of a child. Employers who violate the rules under this act could be subject to a private civil action by the employee.
- Disabilities / Discrimination Against People with Perceived Disabilities & Health Conditions: Treating a person differently because of a disability or perceived disability. This is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Health Conditions (For employees or their immediate family members): The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects employees from being fired for taking time off for serious health conditions (their own or a close family member).
- National Origin: Treating a person differently due to their country of origin, ancestry or cultural heritage.
Due to one of these discriminatory motivators, a person often faces harassment that can take any number of forms – including, but not limited to:
- Electronic Threats
- Persistent Aggression
- Unwelcome Behavior
- Sexually Explicit Messages
- Derogatory Statements
Workplace discrimination also covers cases where a person is retaliated against for whistleblowing or bringing discrimination to the attention of his or her employers. Some such retaliatory instances include:
- Sexual Harassment
- Unfair Compensation
- Denial of Benefits or Promotions
- Hostile Work Environment
- Wrongful Termination
Pittsburgh Employment Lawyers
Dealing with daily or constant harassment at work takes its toll on a person mentally, physically and emotionally. Many people choose to suffer quietly because they are fearful of losing their job – or hopeful the harassment will pass.
But waiting to take action can only prolong the problem and possibly make the case more difficult to prove.
Discrimination can often be very difficult to prove. The longer you wait, the less likely it is that you can find credible witnesses, records of incidents or other evidence to back up your claims.
There is also a statute of limitations on workplace discriminations cases in Pennsylvania. You only have 180 days from the date of an alleged incident to file a claim in PA courts. If the claim is a federal case, you have a bit longer – up to 300 days from the alleged incident.
It is important to note that in order for your case to be considered discrimination, you must be part of a protected class. Unlawful discrimination differs from unequal treatment in the eyes of the law. Perhaps you are being treated differently in the workplace, but if you are not in a protected class, you will not have a case for discrimination. The only way to know for sure is to consult an experienced workplace discrimination attorney.
Our Pittsburgh employment lawyers want to help you fight back to end the discrimination and get the compensation you deserve. Contact our office today. We have the experience to gather evidence and build a strong, winnable case to get the best results for our clients.