Personal Injury Law: Discrimination

Personal Injury Law: Discrimination

discrimination-1380778-mRecent news in Saint Petersburg has many people closely considering the different forms of discrimination in the workforce.  This comes as a result of a federal judge deeming that a local St. Petersburg facility is guilty of racial discrimination.  This lawsuit was filed by one of the nurses after hospital administrators refused to allow any black staff members to treat an admitted patient.  The medical facility reasoned that the patient, after being brutally mugged by a black assailant, showed signs of fear and agitation when in the presence of black nurses.  Now, the hospital may have to pay personal injury damages to the nurse.

There are several forms of discrimination that can occur in the workplace or in a place of business.

Age. If your employer treats you unfairly, or differently, than other employees because of your age, then it may be considered age discrimination.  Common forms of this include forcing retirement or firing a worker because he or she is deemed too old.  In other instances, employees could be overlooked for deserved promotions because the boss considers them to be too young or too old.

Race. Racial discrepancies have been a big concern in businesses for many decades.  While many strides have been taken toward creating true equality, there are still those who will judge another by the color of his or her skin, for instance.  When an employee is refused professional opportunities as a result of prejudice, or a consumer is mistreated for the same reason, discrimination is present.

Nationality or Religion. In some cases, the discrimination is about nationality, as opposed to race.  This occurs when a person is prevented from attaining professional growth because of his- or her family origins.  In other instances, a person may be mistreated by an employer because of the religious stance he or she takes.  Religious holidays, the method of prayer, or a sensitivity to the religious practices of the office majority are not legal reasons for a boss to discipline, demote, or otherwise hinder an employee.

Gender. There has been a lot in the news recently about the unfair wage discrepancies between men and women.  This is a major issue that continues to plague our country.  It is against the law for employers to treat a worker differently because of his or her sex.

Family status. Some employers will consider the best employees to be those who do not have any ties to a spouse or children, and, therefore, will think to promote those individuals first.  While work performance is a legitimate reason to make such decisions, family status is not.  A person cannot be held down simply because he is married or she is a new mother.

Disability. Obviously, some disabilities will limit a person’s ability to perform a job.  However, as long as a person is able to meet the demands of the position, he or she cannot be unfairly treated due to a disability. Employers are encouraged to help those who have faced recent disabilities, in order to make it possible for the person to complete his or her work.

The reason that a personal injury attorney would be involved in these cases is because discrimination can result in serious financial losses when a person is fired or held back from reaching his or her full professional potential.

It is important to note that there are two distinct forms of discrimination: direct and indirect.

Direct Discrimination. This is when a person is obviously treated in an unfair manner, or in a manner that differs from how others are treated, as a result of age, race, nationality, religion, sex, disability, or family status.

Indirect Discrimination. In some cases, the discrimination is not so obvious.  Indirect forms are those that involve setting a standard or a job requirement that puts a certain group of individuals at an unfair advantage.

Regardless of the form that it takes, discrimination can greatly hinder a person financially. If it can be proven that the employer was acting with some form of prejudice, it may be possible to collect compensation for financial losses suffered.

 

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