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How to Know If I'm Being Discriminated Against at Work?

Workplace discrimination is not always an in-your-face circumstance. When discrimination happens, the victim often feels a sense of humiliation or embarrassment. If you have been discriminated against in the workplace, it is important to act quickly and keep excellent records of circumstances that have occurred. Write down the incidents with as much clarity as possible and consider calling a Tulsa employment lawyer.

What Is Discrimination?

Federal and state laws make it illegal to discriminate against certain "protected classes" of people. If you cannot perform the duties that you are assigned, that is not discrimination. If a procedure or a policy is in force in your workplace and it negatively impacts a "protected class" you are part of, it is discrimination.

Federal law prohibits discrimination based on the following:

  • Race;
  • Color;
  • National origin;
  • Religion;
  • Sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions);
  • Disability;
  • Age (40 and older);
  • Citizenship status; and
  • Genetic information.

Additionally, state law in Oklahoma makes it illegal to discriminate based on the following:

  • Race;
  • Color;
  • National origin;
  • Religion;
  • Sex;
  • Disability: physical or mental;
  • Age (40 and older);
  • Genetic information;
  • Military service; and
  • Being a smoker or nonsmoker, or using tobacco (off duty).

What Can I Do?

If you believe the incident occurred due to the fact that you are a member of one of the protected classes listed above, there are a few types of cases you can pursue. A discriminatory treatment, or discriminatory intent, claim means that you were treated worse than other employees by your employer. A disparate impact claim would mean that a company has practices or policies in place that are seemingly neutral, but still negatively impact women, for example.

The last type of discrimination claim is a retaliation claim, which means that an employer retaliated against an employee who complained about discrimination. Often, the most difficult part of pursuing a discrimination claim is proving that your employer acted intentionally. You will need either direct evidence, such as a statement made by a supervisor, or circumstantial evidence. In most cases, it is difficult to obtain direct evidence because people are afraid to lose their jobs if they speak up.
Individuals are protected from discrimination in the workplace in Oklahoma. Nobody should have to live with the humiliation or embarrassment of being discriminated against. If you think you have experienced discrimination in a work environment, a Tulsa employment law attorney can help you voice your complaint and file any necessary claims. Contact us or call today at 918-779-3658.

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