Race, Color, National Origin, Religion, Pregnancy, or Sex

Civil Rights Attorneys: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Workplace discrimination presents an intimating and difficult situation with your employer.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, codified as 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2, prohibits discrimination based on racecolorreligionsex (including gender and pregnancy), and national origin.  Discrimination involves treating a person (applicant or employee) unfavorably in any aspect of his or her employment because of his or her race, color, national origin, sex (including gender and pregnancy), or religion.  Specifically, it is unlawful for employers and employment agencies to do any of the following:

  • (1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or
  • (2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Here are a number of common examples in which your employer is prohibited from discrimination because of the above-referenced characteristics:

  • Hiring (including failure to hire) and firing
  • Compensation, assignment, or classification of employees
  • Transfer, promotion, layoff, or recall
  • Job Advertisements
  • Recruiting (including selection of interviews because of these protected characteristics)
  • Testing
  • Use of company facilities
  • Training and Apprenticeship programs
  • Fringe benefits
  • Pay, retirement plans, and disability leave
  • Other terms and conditions of employment

In the context of religion, for example, religious discrimination involves treating a person (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs.  The law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religions, such as Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism, but also others who have sincerely held religious, ethical, or moral beliefs.  Some examples include prayer time and religious garb and grooming practices.

Unless it would present undue hardship on the employer’s operation of the business, an employer must reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs or practices, including schedule changes or leave for religious observances, but also to such dress or grooming practices that an employee has for religious reasons (e.g. wearing a particular head covering or religious dress, wearing certain hairstyles or facial hair, and an employee’s observance of a religious prohibition against wearing certain garments (e.g. pants or miniskirts).  Undue hardship sometimes arises when the religious accommodation is too costly, compromises workplace safety, decreases workplace efficiency, infringes on the rights of other employees, or requires other employees to do more than their share of potentially hazardous or burdensome work.   If you need an accommodation for religious purposes, you must notify your employer to begin the informal interactive process to determine what accommodation may be provided to you.

If you believe you have been discriminated against in any aspect of your employment because of your race, color, national origin, religion, or sex (including gender or pregnancy), contact a Columbus or Toledo attorney at Bryant Legal, LLC immediately to ensure your rights are properly protected.

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