Philadelphia Employment Discrimination Lawyers
Employment discrimination refers to any unfair treatment in the workplace that is based upon age, disability, gender or sex, national origin, race or color, or religious beliefs in violation of state and federal anti-discrimination laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). Unfair treatment includes harassment, retaliation, and reverse discrimination.
The top priority of our Philadelphia employment discrimination lawyers is obtaining rewards for the victims of unlawful discrimination, especially those who have lost their jobs. With over 40 years of experience in this area, Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. wins these cases on a regular basis.
What Does Unlawful Discrimination Cover?
As detailed above, unlawful discrimination occurs when your employer negatively affects the terms and conditions of your employment or terminates your employment due to your:
Age: If you are 40 years of age or older, and you have been harmed by a decision affecting your employment, you may have suffered unlawful age discrimination. The ADEA is a federal law that protects individuals 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age.
Disability: Disability discrimination occurs when individuals are differently in employment because of their disability, perceived disability, or association with an individual with a disability. If you have a disability and are qualified to do a job, there are federal and state laws protecting you from job discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on the basis of your disability. You are also protected if you are a victim of discrimination because of your association with an individual with a disability. Temporary disabilities may also be covered under the ADEA.
National Origin: National origin discrimination occurs when an individual is treated differently because of their country of origin. If you were rejected for employment, fired, or otherwise harmed in your employment because of your birthplace, ancestry, culture, or way of speaking, you may have suffered unlawful national origin discrimination. It is also against the law to discriminate against an employee because of:
- Marriage to, or association with, persons of a national origin group;
- Membership in, or association with, ethnic promotion groups;
- Attendance or participation in schools, churches, temples, or mosques generally associated with a national origin group; or
- A family name associated with a national origin group.
Workers experiencing national origin discrimination may also experience other forms of illegal discrimination as well, such as discrimination based on immigration or citizenship status discrimination. It only takes one instance of discrimination that adversely affects your employment to file a claim.
Pregnancy: Pregnancy discrimination, a form of sex discrimination, is defined as discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions. Pregnancy discrimination includes the following actions by an employer:
- Refusing to hire a pregnant applicant;
- Firing or demoting a pregnant employee;
- Denying the same or a similar job to a pregnant employee when she returns from a pregnancy-related leave;
- Treating a pregnant employee differently than other temporarily disabled employees; and
- Failing to grant a male employee health insurance coverage for his wife’s pregnancy-related conditions if a female employee’s husband has comprehensive health insurance coverage through the same company plan.
Under the law, pregnancy is considered a temporary disability, as are related medical conditions, such as severe morning sickness, doctor-ordered bed rest, childbirth, recovery from childbirth, and any other related medical condition. Your employer must therefore give pregnant employees the same treatment and benefits that it gives to employees with other temporary disabilities.
Race: Race discrimination is defined as treating individuals differently in their employment because of their race, color, or ethnic origin. If you were rejected for employment, fired, or otherwise harmed in your employment because of your race, contact an employment discrimination lawyer immediately.
Federal law prohibits basing employment decisions on stereotypes and assumptions about abilities, traits, or the performance of individuals of certain racial groups. It makes illegal both intentional discrimination as well as job policies that appear neutral but in fact are not job-related, and disproportionately harms workers of certain races.
We will review any company policy or management decision that comes across as discriminatory. Keep in mind, however, that some companies use unfair business practices, which are not necessarily discriminatory. We must review the case thoroughly to understand the nature of the alleged discrimination.
Religion: Religious discrimination is defined as treating individuals differently in their employment because of their religion, their religious beliefs and practices, and/or their request for accommodation of their religious beliefs and practices. It also includes treating individuals differently in their employment because of their lack of religious belief or practice.
The American public often assumes that a private business can do what it wants. Under the law, that is not the case. Workplace law clearly dictates that all religious discrimination is illegal. You deserve to be respected regardless of your religious beliefs, and your employer should be tolerant of workers from varying faiths.
Sex/Gender: Sex or gender discrimination is defined as treating individuals differently in their employment specifically because an individual is a woman or a man. If you have been rejected for employment, fired, or otherwise harmed in your employment because of your sex or gender, then you may have suffered sex or gender discrimination.
In everyday language as well as in the law, the terms “gender” and “sex” are used inter-changeably, but the two terms have different meanings. Social scientists use the term “sex” to refer to a person’s biological or anatomical identity as male or female, while reserving the term “gender” for the collection of characteristics that are culturally associated with male or female traits. Discrimination is illegal regardless of whether it is based on sex, gender, or both. Pregnancy discrimination and sexual harassment are also considered forms of sex discrimination under the law.
Sexual Orientation: Sexual orientation discrimination occurs when someone is treated differently solely because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, or straight. This discrimination may also occur because of a perception of someone’s sexual orientation.
Any of these factors need only be a deciding or prompting factor in your employer’s decision to negatively affect the terms or conditions of your employment. It does not need to be the only factor, or even the most important one. You are protected against discrimination, if your membership in a protected class was a significant reason, if not the only one, that led to the decision to terminate your employment.
Understanding the Merits of Your Case
Unfortunately, discrimination is often extremely difficult to prove and an employee who is the casualty of unlawful discrimination typically must rely on circumstantial evidence and statistics, as opposed to direct evidence, such as racial, gender, or age-based derogatory remarks or epithets. You are encouraged to document or note negative occurrences at work. While documenting these occurrences will not win a discrimination case, we can use that information to corroborate your story. We can establish a pattern of behavior if it exists, and we may ask your co-workers to share any information they might have.
Another important distinction on the validity of a discrimination claim is how people often confuse unlawful discrimination with unequal treatment resulting from nepotism, favoritism, personality conflict, or just plain unfairness. If you are treated differently at work or terminated for any reason other than your membership in a protected class, such as those reasons mentioned above, you have not been discriminated against in the eyes of the law. Different, bad, or unfair treatment or decisions, even those resulting in your termination, are not unlawful, however random, unjust, dishonest, or baseless.
Philadelphia Employment Discrimination Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Defend the Rights of Employees
Contact our Philadelphia employment discrimination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. today for a free consultation and assessment of your claim. Do not hesitate to call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and South Jersey.