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Indianapolis Employment Law Blog

What are some examples of age discrimination?

The workforce of today is completely different than what it consisted of years ago. While some people still choose to retire at a relatively early age, others are forced to work until they are much older. A number of Americans are unable to or have been unsuccessful at putting savings away in a retirement account, and with rising costs and living expenses, are forced to stay in the workforce in order to make ends meet. 

Although older workers possess a certain experience, wisdom and knowledge that they can bring to the table and improve many work situations, age discrimination happens across many U.S. industries. Age discrimination occurs when these older workers are treated differently based on their age. This discrimination is not limited to older workers, but younger workers can also be victims of age discrimination. Examples of age discrimination may include the following:

Men are victims of sex discrimination too

When people think of sexual harassment, they often think of women as the victims. However, this is not always the case. Men are also victims of harassment at the workplace and more males have come forward to report this offense. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 7,609 people filed sexual harassment reports in 2018. Approximately 15.9% of those claims were filed by males, a substantial increase from the 11% of claims that were filed in 1997. This number is thought to be even higher, however, as some men are too embarrassed or ashamed to report these types of incidents. 

Sexual discrimination can come in a number of forms, including unwanted sexual advances, comments or requests for sexual favors. Employees may be told they are not able to advance in their career if they do not submit to the advances or bribed with an incentive if they go along with the unwanted behavior. Men can be harassed by other male or female co-workers or managers. 

Federal and Indiana laws prohibit discrimination

Racial discrimination in the Indiana workplace could happen at any point during the relationship between employer and employee. Any time that an employer makes a decision based not on merit but on race, this constitutes a possible violation of federal and Indiana state law. This could even include offenses that happen before an employee is even hired.

Specifically, some employers engage in discriminatory hiring practices. This is a complicated area of employment and civil rights law. The rest of this article should serve as a brief introduction.

Gender discrimination affects more than 40% of working women

As a woman making your living in Indiana, you are about twice as likely as your male colleagues to experience gender discrimination in your place of employment. At the Employment Law Office of John H. Haskin & Associates, LLC, we recognize the disparity between the number of men and women who experience this type of treatment on the job, and we have helped many women who fell victim to gender discrimination pursue appropriate recourse afterward.

According to the Pew Research Center, 42% of female employees in the United States say they have experienced gender discrimination at some point during their careers, compared with only 22% of male employees. While gender discrimination can potentially take on any number of different forms, there are certain aspects of it that also tend to impact female workers far more frequently than male ones.

Is a mental health condition a disability

Over the last few years, more and more news outlets have reported about the importance of maintaining your mental health. However, for those with major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder or even ADHD, how does that apply in the workplace? Are jobs protected for those with mental health conditions?

First, yes, employees with mental health conditions are protected under the American Disabilities Act. Employers can’t discriminate against employees in the hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, benefit, training or job opportunity process simply because an employee has a mental health issue. They have give reasonable accommodations for those with mental health conditions.

The consequences of age discrimination

Some people do not take age discrimination seriously, whether they think that older workers and job applicants should simply accept the fact that they can be turned away due to their age or they do not understand how serious discrimination of any form can be. Unfortunately, age discrimination can turn the lives of workers and those applying for a position upside down in various ways. Age discrimination can result in many harsh consequences, not only from a financial perspective but in terms of one's emotional health and future opportunities as well.

As with other forms of discrimination in the workplace, age discrimination may occur in a number of ways. Whether someone is fired solely because of their age, they are not paid fairly, they are subjected to serious harassment or they are discriminated against while applying for a job that they are fully qualified for, any instance of age discrimination is unacceptable. Victims of age discrimination may feel humiliated, angry or depressed. They may have anxiety with regard to their employment opportunities and financial circumstances and they may not know how to move forward.

How can you develop a tolerance in the workplace?

A critical part of organizational success within your company is developing an environment where your coworkers tolerate each other and are respectful of differing views and backgrounds. While your employer in Indiana is primarily responsible for setting the precedence for tolerance, you can support those efforts by making an effort to be inclusive and willing to work with others who are different than you. 

The joint efforts of you and your coworkers to develop synergy can not only create an environment where everyone feels valued and appreciated, but it can also aid in efforts to increase motivation and morale for everyone working at your company. When you feel good and are surrounded by other individuals who also feel respected, the chances that all of you will be able to work more efficiently and effectively are significantly higher. 

LGBTQ rights cases head to U.S. Supreme Court

Across the nation, including in Indiana, the nation continues to struggle at times with how to protect the rights of workers based on varying criteria. Since the 1960s, the Civil Rights Act has been invoked on multiple occasions to protect employees from unfair discrimination. It is specifically Title VII of that legislation that expressly prohibits employers from discriminating against people in specific identified protected classes.

The protected classes include people of a specific religion, ethnic background or country of origin. Sex is another factor on which employees are supposed to be free of concern about being discriminated against. However, it has come to light that the term "sex" in the context of the law is somewhat ambiguous. As reported by Vox, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has indicated it considers sexual orientation and gender identity to be inherently included in "sex" insofar as Title VII protections are concerned. Not everyone seems to agree with this, however.

What are the signs of age discrimination at work?

While older workers should be valued for their wisdom and experience, this is not always the case. Some workplaces are quite hostile towards older workers, to the point where steps are taken to oust aging employees over a younger, less expensive staff. If you're concerned that you're the victim of age discrimination, AARP recommends looking for the following signs. 

Diminishing performance reviews

Is alcoholism a disability?

Addiction is a challenge many people face throughout their lives. Almost everyone knows a friend or family who has fallen prey to alcohol or drug abuse.

For decades, the American Medical Association has defined alcoholism as a primary, progressive, chronic disease “with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations.” While the medical consensus is that addiction is a disease, does it qualify as a disability?

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