Discrimination in the workplace in Dallas, TX can disrupt a business in a number of ways: it makes employees miserable, reduces productivity, and leads to expensive lawsuits. Business owners should be aware of the different types of workplace discrimination and take steps to prevent management from taking discriminatory action. The end of discrimination in the workplace in Dallas, TX starts at the top; here is what business owners, managers and employees need to know.
Discrimination in the Workplace in Dallas TX: 5 Common Types of Workplace Discrimination
Race discrimination is prohibited under Title VII of the United States Code. Under that statute, employers are prohibited from taking certain adverse actions against employees because of their race. Adverse actions include refusal to hire, firing or disciplining, paying employees of a certain race less than other employees, failing to provide benefits or promotions, and improperly classifying or segregating employees or applicants of a certain race.
Title VII also prohibits religious discrimination, which is similar to race discrimination in that an employer cannot take adverse actions against employees because of their religion: an employee cannot be fired, demoted, paid less, or disciplined because of his religion, nor can a job applicant be segregated or not selected because of his religion. Religious discrimination can go further, however; employers are also required to provide reasonable accommodation for employees’ religious beliefs. This means that employers may need to give certain employees flexible scheduling or time off to observe religious holidays. Failure or refusal to do so could expose a business owner to liability.
Age is not protected by Title VII; however, it is protected under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibits certain types of discrimination based upon the age of the employee. The ADEA prohibits employers from taking adverse actions against employees over the age of 40 because of their age; for example, an employer who needs to downsize cannot decide to eliminate the jobs of everyone over a certain age to avoid paying their pensions. The ADEA can be waived by employees, as long as the waiver meets certain requirements, and only businesses with 20 or more employees are subject to the ADEA.
Disability discrimination is governed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination against an employee or prospective employee on the basis of that person’s disability. The ADA prohibits adverse actions against a disabled employee on the basis of her disability, and it also requires employers to make reasonable accommodations, such as restructuring job duties, allowing medical leave or time off for doctor appointments, modifying work schedules and providing special equipment.
Sex discrimination, like race discrimination and religious discrimination, is prohibited by the Civil Rights Act. Sex discrimination occurs when an employer takes adverse action (or inaction) against an employee because of his or her sex. Sex discrimination can also include sexual harassment; offering a promotion in exchange for sexual favors, for example, is part of sex discrimination.
Employers can avoid workplace discrimination lawsuits by staying informed and by properly training employees on how to deal with these issues. Employers already facing workplace discrimination lawsuits may be able to offer defenses, such as alternative reasons why the employee was fired or demoted. Business owners who need legal counsel on matters of discrimination in the workplace in Dallas, TX should call an employment law firm. Simon|Paschal PLLC can assist employers with creating discrimination policies to avoid litigation, as well as legal counsel in the event of a suit. Call (972) 893-9340 to set up a consultation.
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