Workers in the Detroit area and across Michigan generally expect that their employers will treat them with dignity and abide by all state and federal workplace laws. Unfortunately, it is more common than people realize for businesses to engage in discriminatory practices.
Discrimination can affect a worker’s career by denying them opportunities or possibly even impacting their mental health. The law allows workers to hold businesses accountable for discrimination via a civil lawsuit if a company engages in or tolerates workplace discrimination. As such, the following kinds of discrimination might lead to civil litigation filed by frustrated workers in Michigan.
There are a variety of protected characteristics
According to federal law, businesses should not consider the protected characteristics of individual workers when making decisions about who to hire, fire, give a raise to or promote. Discrimination laws also forbid harassment, including sexual harassment aimed at specific employees and hostile work environments.
Some of the types of discrimination are well known. Racial discrimination and sexual discrimination are common issues, but there are many other types of discrimination that can impact workers as well. Employers can discriminate based on numerous different protected characteristics including:
- national origin
- health/medical conditions
- genetic information
- sexual orientation
- color (even within the same racial group)
Discrimination can include wage discrepancies, retaliation for speaking up and workplace harassment. Those who have experienced workplace discrimination often feel frustrated and eager to change how the company operates. Many of them would like to retain their jobs while improving their work environment.
Convincing a company to change its practices will require evidence of discrimination. Workers who carefully gather evidence of discrimination will potentially have a greater likelihood of convincing their employers to address the issue internally. They can also utilize that documentation if they pursue a lawsuit against the company because it fails to resolve the discrimination issues.
Discrimination can manifest as the loss of a job or in a company consistently passing over certain types of employees for others when handing out raises or promotions, in addition to a host of other examples. Ultimately, fighting back against discrimination can benefit both an affected worker and anyone else who shares their protected characteristic and may work at the offending company presently or in the future.