Workplace Discrimination Attorney in Hartford, Connecticut
Addressing a concern about workplace discrimination can be a challenging task, especially if you’re worried about retaliation. However, even though there are real issues to think about when reporting discrimination or harassment, there is help available to make the process easier and fighting to protect your rights.
You are not alone in this, and by calling an experienced employment law attorney, you’ll have a trusted partner who can educate you on your options and be your advocate during this difficult time. If you live or work in and around Hartford, Connecticut, including the areas of New Haven and Bridgeport, my firm—James S. Brewer Attorney at Law—is here for you. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.
Discrimination is a broad term and one that is used both in everyday language and in a legal sense. Understanding the legal definition of discrimination in the workplace is an essential place to start. In most cases, simply feeling like you’ve been treated poorly or unfairly is not grounds enough to be considered discrimination in the eyes of the law. However, depending on the nature of the discrimination and how widespread it is, it could be.
Employment discrimination occurs when you’ve been treated differently or unfairly because of your “race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, disability, age (age 40 or older), or genetic information.”
It’s also worth pointing out up front that this kind of discrimination doesn’t always have to be negative. For example, an employer can be found guilty of discrimination if they favor job applicants of one national origin over another and you happen to be in the favored category. On the other hand, those who may not have received a job offer due to their national origin can also claim employment discrimination.
Types of Discrimination
Employment discrimination covers a wide spectrum of different acts and both federal and state laws are written to protect different classes of people from harm. These include:
Race Discrimination: This protects people of a particular race or color and as of March 2021, Connecticut law broadened this to include traits associated with race such as hair texture and styles.
Religious Discrimination: This protects people who practice or believe in a particular religion as well as those who don’t practice a religion.
Sex Discrimination: This applies to unfair treatment of someone because of their sex, but also includes gender identity discrimination (including transgender identity) and sexual orientation discrimination.
Pregnancy Discrimination: This can apply to a current, previous, or potential pregnancy and also includes discrimination against those who are breastfeeding or who’ve experienced medical complications due to pregnancy or childbirth.
National Origin Discrimination: Protects those from a specific country or part of the world from discrimination.
Age Discrimination: The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects workers over the age of 40.
Disability Discrimination: There are several laws protecting those with disabilities and requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations for them.
Harassment: Harassment is also a form of discrimination and can happen to any one of these protected groups.
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There are many ways that employees (or potential employees) experience discrimination in the workplace:
Discrimination in Hiring: Employment discrimination can begin even before an employee is hired if the employer favors one applicant over another simply because of a group they belong to.
Terms and Conditions of Employment: When one employee is given different pay, promotions, or assignments based on the protected class they’re part of.
Wrongful Termination: When an employee is fired because of a protected class they’re part of.
Retaliation: Retaliation for reporting discrimination is a very real concern and can also be addressed with the help of your attorney. This can also be seen in cases of whistleblower retaliation for those who call out unsafe or unfair labor practices or FMLA Retaliation for those who take time off for a family member or new child.
No matter the type of discrimination you are experiencing, your employment lawyer can support you.
Disparate Impact vs. Disparate Treatment
There are two other key terms to understand when dealing with an employment discrimination case: disparate impact and disparate treatment. The two are very similar but represent a different type of discrimination.
Disparate impact (also called adverse impact) refers to cases when the impact (or end result) of the unfair treatment wasn’t due to intentional discrimination. This can occur if a workplace has policies or rules in place that may seem neutral but in practice propagate discrimination. One example of this would be giving a written test in English to all applicants when mastery of the language is not a component of the job.
Disparate treatment (also called adverse treatment) refers to intentional or explicit discrimination. For instance, if you only make women take a certain test to qualify for employment.
Discrimination Attorney in Hartford, Connecticut
If you have questions or concerns about discrimination in your workplace and would like to consult with an attorney about your options, reach out to me today. I serve those in Hartford, Connecticut, and the surrounding areas of New Haven, Bridgeport, and more. Don’t face this alone.