You can lose your job for a variety of reasons, some legal and some illegal. If you've been terminated, it's important to understand why and to focus your time on protecting your legal rights.
The United States was founded on the idea of freedom of religion, and that must be reflected in the workplace. Employees all have a right to practice any religion that they so choose and employers cannot discriminate against them based on these decisions.
Dating back as far as the middle ages, there have been protections in place for anyone willing to come forward with evidence of fraud or corruption. People who are brave enough to come forward are often referred to as whistleblowers. Whistleblowers got their name because they alert authorities to corruption that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. Without whistleblowers, society could not function as efficiently as it does now.
Your employer does not want to be accused of wrongful termination for firing you for something that breaches employment laws. Therefore, they tell you that you need to quit or take an unpaid leave. Is that still illegal?
As you look for a job, you may come across advertisements saying that only people who speak a certain language can apply. Is that racial discrimination because it gives preference to people from a certain country?
Your employer gives you a dress code, and you almost feel like it's illegal. Don't you have the freedom to express yourself? Doesn't telling you what you can and cannot wear infringe on your rights?
The gender gap in employment is often presented as the number of cents women earn on the dollar, compared to men. It is related to, but not the same as the call for women to earn equal pay for equal work. For instance, if all the high-paying jobs at a company are reserved for men, that company may still be able to claim that women earn equal pay for equal work. The situation is blatantly discriminatory and unfair, but technically women and men who have the exact same job are paid equally. The gender gap takes a broader view.
If you're a victim of sexual harassment at work, you shouldn't wait a single day to review what happened and to decide on what to do next. The sooner you take action the easier it is to protect yourself and to hold the harasser responsible for their behavior.
Workplace discrimination comes in many forms. If you suspect you're a victim of this behavior, it's important to learn more about your legal rights. The steps you take upfront will have a major impact on what happens in the future.
When two people do the same job and the same work, they are supposed to be paid the same amount for that work. An employer cannot discriminate due to their age, gender, race or some other such factor.