These days, it's more common than ever to hear the phrase, "Age is just a number!" People are living longer -- and healthier -- than ever before. Their work lives are also extended. Nobody thinks much of it anymore when someone -- particularly a well-educated professional -- is working well into their "golden years."
When you've read over a job vacancy or application before, you've likely seen a listing of different classes of people that are protected from discrimination under federal laws. They strictly prohibit a worker from being treated differently from others solely based on their age, race, national origin, disability or pregnancy status or religion. Sexual orientation isn't included on this list though.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is in place to protect an employee's legal right to take a leave from work for a variety of reasons, such as to deal with an illness, care for a newborn child or assist an injured or sick family member.
When you first learn that you are pregnant, it should be a joyful time. You are likely looking forward to sharing the news with everyone you know. However, you may be hesitant to inform your employer or coworkers about your pregnancy for fear of it affecting your career opportunities.
Imagine you reported to a job interview, and your future boss asked you to spit into a cup. You don't have any strands of DNA that could produce a red hiring flag, so you get the job. The guy behind you, on the other hand, isn't so lucky. Although you're both the same in every respect, the other person has a DNA signature that your boss doesn't want.
If you're over the age of 40, you benefit from protection under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Under the provisions of this federal law, employers cannot discriminate against employees on the basis of their ages if the employee is 40 years of age or older.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was signed 40 years ago, in 1978. However, in 2018, women across the United States continue to be fearful about announcing their pregnancy or going on maternity leave for fear of retaliation.
Many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees get the feeling in the workplace that their employer or co-workers treat them differently because of their sexual orientation. This can be a very frustrating and upsetting experience and one that you might feel powerless to do anything about.
Despite the many federal and state laws prohibiting employment discrimination, it still occurs at an alarming rate in California and other states. It is difficult in many cases to understand why employment discrimination still happens in this age of tolerance and acceptance. Some victims may even have difficulty determining if they are suffering discrimination or just imagining things.
Discriminating against a worker for any reason has been prohibited for many years. Awareness combined with government oversight has reduced much of this unethical employer behavior, but the problem still exists in all American states.