Employment discrimination consists of adverse employment actions (i.e., termination, denial of employment, denial of promotion, suspension.) that are motivated by the employee’s actual or perceived protected characteristic (race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (over 40), sexual orientation, or military and veteran status; or because of association with any of those protected characteristics).
Harassment/Hostile Work Environment
Workplace harassment consists of unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct that is directed at an employee because of an employee’s protected characteristic (race, age, sexual orientation, etc.). “Hostile work environment” harassment can take form when the presence of demeaning comments, slurs, pictures, jokes, threats, or overall atmosphere is so severe or pervasive as to create an intimidating and offensive work environment.
Sexual Harassment consists of an unwelcome sexual advance by an employer or supervisor that represents a threat to the employee’s employment or becomes a condition of continued employment. Additionally, such harassment can be classified as a “hostile work environment” when the presence of demeaning or sexual photographs, jokes, threats, or overall atmosphere is so pervasive as to create an intimidating and offensive work environment. “Quid pro quo” form of sexual harassment when job benefits were conditioned, by words or conduct, on an employee’s acceptance of sexual advances or conduct.
Retaliation refers to a prohibited employment action (e.g., termination or discipline, etc.) taken against an employee as a result of a his or her participation in a legally protected activity. These legally protected activities include:
Complaining about discrimination
Filing a discrimination lawsuit
Giving testimony in a discrimination lawsuit
Making a discrimination complaint
Refusing to participate in discrimination
Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation