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Protect Your Rights

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protecting the rights of employees in rhode island

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What types of discrimination can occur in the workplace?

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers with 15 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against any employee based on certain characteristics. This law was enacted to ensure that employee rights are protected. Despite this law, many employees are treated unfairly at work and feel unsafe and unwelcome as a result.

Workplace discrimination occurs when a Rhode Island employer takes action against an employee based on their race, age, gender, national origin, religion or disability. There are also a number of state and local laws in place to prevent pregnancy discrimination, discrimination based on sexual orientation and other forms of discrimination.

Sometimes, it can be unclear what constitutes workplace discrimination. Generally, discrimination can occur in many forms, most of which relate to the negative treatment of an employee in the workplace. For example, if an employer with 20 or more employees refuses to hire someone because they are over the age 40, this may constitute age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, as well as Title VII. Employer actions such as firing, failing to promote, paying less, harassment and discipline may be considered workplace discrimination if they were based on any of the above characteristics.

Every employee deserves to work in an environment safe from discrimination. Unfortunately, workplace discrimination occurs in both large and small companies. If you find that you have been unfairly treated in the workplace, you may have a case against your employer for workplace discrimination. If you are successful in proving your case, your employer may have to pay you damages or take action to make things right at work, such as giving you your job back if you were unfairly fired.

Source: FindLaw, "Employment Discrimination," accessed on April 3, 2017

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