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Discrimination and harassment

Harassment and discrimination remain prevalent in today’s workplace.  There are a number of State and Federal laws that protect employees from unwanted harassment and discrimination.  Specifically there are laws that protect employees from discrimination based on an employee’s race, national origin, religion, age, gender, pregnancy, disability, sexual orientation, marital or familial status, and military status.  If an employer takes an adverse action against an employee on the basis of any of the above categories that employee likely has a claim for discrimination.  Examples of adverse actions include, firing, failure to hire, unequal pay, unequal benefits, and missed promotions.  Employees may also file claims where they feel they are being subjected to harassment or a hostile work environment.  If an employee is being harassed by a co-worker and after complaining the employer takes no action that is generally sufficient to establish a claim for hostile work environment.  Finally, employers must also give employees with disabilities, including pregnancy, “reasonable accommodations” when requested, this includes requests for medical leave.

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