Employment discrimination occurs when employers base hiring, promotion, job assignment termination and compensation decisions on an individuals:
- National Origin
- Physical disability
Of course there are exceptions to these laws for certain occupations but they apply to most jobs in the United States.
Race, Sex, Religion, National Origin
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to most employers engaged in interstate commerce with more than 15 employees, labor organizations, and employment agencies. The Act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
Sex includes pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. It makes it illegal for employers to discriminate in hiring, discharging, compensation, or terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.
Employment agencies may not discriminate when hiring or referring applicants. Labor organizations are also prohibited from basing membership or union classifications on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted to eliminate discrimination against those with handicaps. It prohibits discrimination based on a physical or mental handicap by employers engaged in interstate commerce and state governments. The type of discrimination prohibited is broader than that explicitly outlined by Title VII.
The Black Lung Act prohibits discrimination by mine operators against miners who suffer from "black lung" (pneumoconiosis).
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of age. The prohibited practices are nearly identical to those outlined in Title 7. An employee is protected from discrimination based on age if he or she is over 40. The ADEA contains explicit guidelines for benefit, pension and retirement plans.