It is illegal to discriminate against employees based on classifications of age, race, religion, color, gender, disability, national origin or sexual preference. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act makes this clear.
Employees have protections against discrimination at both the state and federal level. Yet, workers still face multiple forms of discrimination – sometimes at the same time.
Reports suggest older women may not receive fair treatment at work
Reportedly, women over age 55 face a high risk of “sex-plus” discrimination in the workplace. These situations of maltreatment may be based on both a woman’s sex and age, and could be more problematic as employers trim their workforces during the pandemic.
Due to privacy laws, in combination with unaddressed concerns, there may be no precise statistics indicating the rate at which female employees experience sex-plus-age discrimination. However, this problem seems to be evident throughout a variety of industries.
When might workers exercise their rights?
Despite legal protections in existence, many employees wonder where accountability lies for illegal employment practices. Additionally, women typically express an overwhelming fear of potential job loss for speaking out against alleged unfair treatment.
Though retaliation is against the law, it still happens, leaving aging former employees hurt, frustrated and at a disadvantage in their job search.
In many cases, it is difficult to prove discrimination took place or was the impetus behind job loss. However, workers can explore their legal options if their experience on the job includes:
- Getting passed over for a promotion, while a younger man or woman of similar qualifications gets to move up within the organization
- Earning less compensation than male counterparts of the same age who work in a position at the same level
- Being singled out with unwelcome comments or requests for favors of a sexual nature
An employment attorney can help workers understand whether they have a discrimination case against an employer. Learning about employee rights can help ensure they are protected.