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What federal laws prohibit job discrimination?

Employment laws provide a necessary structure in the workplace that both helps employers adhere to the law while also affording protections to employees. Although most people are not able to cite all of the laws at work for them, most people are able to recognize when an employer is in violation of the law and needs to be held accountable.

To help give titles to what most of our more frequent readers already know, we wanted to answer this week's post title question by looking at the federal laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace.

Civil Rights Act of 1964. Perhaps the most well know, this act prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee based on sex, race, religion, national origin or color.

Civil Rights Act of 1991. This law works in relation to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and provides monetary compensation to employees who are found to have been the victim of discrimination.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963. An important addition to federal law, this act prohibits an employer from paying men and women differently even though they perform substantially equal work.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This law prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee based on a disability. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, this also includes pregnancy, which can be considered a temporary disability depending on health complications that can arise.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In addition to the ADA, this act provides protections against discrimination to individuals in the federal government who have disabilities.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. This law prohibits discrimination based on age and applies to individuals over the age of 40.

Although the EEOC can help with claims of job discrimination, so too can a skilled lawyer. With the help of an attorney, you'll gain a better understanding of your rights and how best to handle your suspicion of discrimination in the workplace.

Source:  U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Federal Laws Prohibiting Job Discrimination Questions And Answers," Accessed Dec. 12, 2014

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