Your job may be difficult. If you work long hours doing heavy lifting or standing on your feet all day, you may think it is a hard way to make a living, but you aren't afraid of hard work. You think of your family, the things they need and the things you want to be able to give them. So you go to work, and you try not to complain.
However, if you think that your boss treats you differently than the way he or she treats your co-workers, you may feel confused or angry. If your boss is unkind or makes unfair decisions about your duties, your workload or your pay, you may be a victim of discrimination.
What is discrimination?
Discrimination is when your employer treats you badly for very personal reasons. For example, a boss can't pay women less money just because they are not men. If a woman has the same skills, training and ability to do the job as a man, she should earn as much money as a man. In addition, a manager can't fire a woman just because she is pregnant. That would be discrimination.
It is against the law for your boss to discriminate against you for any of these reasons:
- Race, ethnicity or national origin
- Skin color
- Physical or mental disabilities
Also, an employer cannot discriminate if you have a relationship with anyone who has these characteristics.
Discrimination can take many forms, for example, denying someone a job or firing someone who falls into one of the protected categories. However, you may experience discrimination in many other ways. Your boss may deny you any of the following opportunities:
- Equal pay
- Deserved pay raise
- Earned leave, sick days or other benefits
- Protection from lay-offs
You may also find that your employer or co-workers bully or abuse you because of your race, age, skin color or other reasons.
Where can I get help?
To face harassment every day at work can be exhausting. You may begin to feel depressed and wonder if it is worth it to keep going back to a job where they mistreat you. However, you have a family to feed and bills to pay, so you may fear what might happen if you try to improve your situation. It is against the law for your boss to retaliate if you turn to someone for help. If you feel that your employer is treating you unfairly, you do have the right to seek a solution.
Employers are breaking the law when they harass their employees or keep them from moving up in the company simply because of their race or other protected reasons. By meeting with an attorney, you may find the answers to your questions about how to proceed with seeking justice. Your attorney will fight for your rights.