The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gives employees a variety of rights and protections against discrimination. Under the act, government agencies and employers with 15 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating based on someone’s race, color, sex, religion or national origin. This prohibition extends to all aspects of employment, which includes hiring, promotions, terminations and determining rates of compensation. Additionally, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 prohibits employers with more than 20 employees from discriminating against individuals over the age of 40.
Women also have specific protections that are designed to ensure equal pay. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 states that women must be paid at the same rate of men if they are doing the same type of work. The exceptions for this are if a merit or seniority system is in place or if pay is based on quality or quantity of production.
Individuals who are disabled also have protections in the workplace thanks to the Americans With Disabilities Act. Employers with 15 or more employees have to make reasonable accommodations for an individual’s mental or physical disabilities so long as it does not present an undue hardship for the employer.
If an individual believes that they are being discriminated against at work or experiencing a hostile work environment, an employee rights attorney may be able to go over the situation with them. An attorney could explain to a client what the law covers and which legal actions may be appropriate. Should the individual’s case go to court, an attorney could provide representation.