McNamee Hosea News & Press


What Groups Are Protected From Workplace Discrimination?

Experienced business owners likely have a fairly good grasp of the employment laws with which they must comply. New employers and entrepreneurs, on the other hand, may not. But no matter how long you have been in business, there may come a time when you find yourself facing a legal claim from an employee.

One such claim that may be filed is one stemming from discrimination allegations. Discrimination is a particularly visible offense, meaning that accusations are easily publicized and the reputation and success of a company can quickly come under fire. In order to avoid this, employers may want to be sure they understand who is protected from workplace discrimination in the U.S.

Federal laws have established a number of protected classes in regards to discrimination. These classes are based on characteristics, and it is unlawful to discriminate against employees and potential employees based on these characteristics.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there are many types of discrimination that are prohibited by law. Workers cannot be discriminated against based on:

  • Sex
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Race
  • National origin
  • Disability
  • Genetic information
  • Pregnancy
  • Religion

If an employee has reason to believe that he or she has been mistreated because of these or other characteristics protected by law, there may be grounds to file a legal claim against an employer. If this happens, an employer could be looking at repercussions that affect their profits, reputation and other employees.

Employers would be wise to take steps to clearly understand discrimination laws in Maryland and be sure that they respond appropriately when and if an employee files a discrimination complaint. Whether the report is assumed to be baseless or legitimate, understanding your legal options can be essential in protecting yourself and your business.