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The major types of workplace discrimination

When you think of workplace discrimination in New Jersey, you may first think of racial discrimination, as this is something that has been common over the years, and something against which many laws have been created. However, it's important to know that the following are also illegal:

1. Discrimination based on age.

Workers cannot be fired as they near retirement age. Moreover, employers cannot refuse to hire workers either because they are younger or older than the average worker.

2. Discrimination based on gender.

Both men and women are to be considered for the same roles within the workplace, the same promotions and the same pay scales.

3. Discrimination against pregnant women.

Similarly, women cannot be fired just because they become pregnant. Different companies offer different amounts of pay and benefits packages to those who are pregnant, but firing them on these grounds is illegal.

4. Discrimination as retaliation.

An employer can't retaliate against an employee who has reported a crime - like sexual harassment - or who has become a whistleblower. Discrimination could take the form of moving the employee to a worse position, refusing to grant time off, reducing the employee's pay and much else.

5. Discrimination based on religion.

Freedom of religion must be fully allowed, and employers cannot ask a person's religion during the hiring process and then refuse to hire him or her because of it.

Other types of discrimination include those based on pay, disability, genetic information and national origin. If you've faced any type of discrimination at all, make sure that you know all about your legal rights and what steps you need to take next.

Source: EEOC, "Discrimination by Type," accessed Oct. 01, 2015

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