What You Need to know About Employment Discrimination

Employment discrimination is a serious matter. Victims of employment discrimination have the right to pursue legal action against their employers. Some individuals may think they are victims of employment discrimination, when in fact they are not. Employment laws vary state by state, and in Virginia there are many things to know regarding what is considered discrimination and what companies are governed by these rules.

Who is Governed by Employment Discrimination Laws?

First, it is important to understand that while Federal and Virginia law prohibit discrimination, some factors must be met before these laws apply such as the number of employees in a business. Companies with at least 15 employees are prohibited from nearly all types of discrimination, however they must have at least 20 employees for age discrimination laws to apply.

What Counts as Employment Discrimination…and What Doesn’t?

Employment discrimination is defined as a form of discrimination based on religion, race, disability, age, and gender identity by employers. Essentially, if an employer treats two equally qualified individuals differently based on any of the aforementioned, then it may be considered as employment discrimination. Salary differentiation based on qualifications or responsibilities is not employment discrimination.

What Laws Protect Me Against Employee Discrimination?

There are many laws that protect employees from discrimination in their place of employment. Below are just a few, but they are meant to help illustrate what is considered employment discrimination and what isn’t:

  1. Title VII: A section of this law highlights what was mentioned above: that discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin is prohibited
  2. The Family Medical Leave Act: A section of this law requires employers with 50 or more employees to grant employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child, a serious health condition, or the care of a parent, spouse, or child with a serious health condition.
  3. Age Discrimination in Employment Act: A section of this law prohibits discrimination based on age. One caveat here is that age is defined as being 40 years or older, so it does not prohibit discrimination based on age for those below 40.
  4. Americans with Disabilities Act: A section of this law prohibits discrimination by employers based on physical or mental disability.
  5. Equal Pay Act: This requires employers to pay employees who perform mostly equivalent duties and responsibilities the same wage, regardless of their gender.
  6. Pregnancy Discrimination Act: This is part of Title VII and prohibits employers from discrimination based on pregnancy or childbirth related medical condition.


Don’t Leave it Up to Your Interpretation: Hire an Employment Discrimination Attorney

While some of these laws may seem straightforward, if you think your employer is in violation and that you are a victim of employment discrimination it’s important to seek legal support. Don’t go at this alone. Contact Tesler and Werblood to be your employment discrimination attorney. We have handled numerous discrimination cases and will walk you through the entire legal process. Contact us today at 703-534-9300!