My Rights: Employment Discrimination
A number of federal and state laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employees based on unlawful classifications. Municipalities may provide additional protections not listed below.
Age Discrimination is prohibited by the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA).
The ADEA was enacted to promote the employment of older persons based upon their ability rather than their age and to prohibit discrimination against workers age 40 and older.
Under the ADEA, it is unlawful for an employer to:
- Fail or refuse to hire or discharge an employee because of age
- Limit, segregate, or classify employees in a way that deprives them of opportunities because of age
- Reduce the wage rate of any other employee or employees in order to comply with the ADEA
- Retaliate against an employee for filing a charge under the ADEA
The PHRA similarly prohibits age discrimination.
Discrimination based on Disability is prohibited by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the federal Rehabilitation Act, and the PHRA.
- The ADA prohibits an employer from preventing a qualified individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential duties of the job.
- The Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs receiving Federal financial assistance. The standards for determining employment discrimination under the Rehabilitation Act are the same as those used in the ADA.
The PHRA prohibits discrimination based on disability and is similar to the ADA.
Discrimination based on Race, Color, Religion, Sex, or National Origin is prohibited the Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the PHRA.
Under Title VII, it is also illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.
The PHRA also prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, and national origin and retaliation for filing a complaint with or participating in a proceeding with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.
Discrimination based on Pregnancy is a form of sex discrimination and is prohibited by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, an amendment to Title VII.
Discrimination based on Genetic Information is prohibited by the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008.
Genetic information includes information about an individual's genetic tests and the genetic tests of an individual's family members, as well as information about any disease, disorder or condition of an individual's family members (i.e. an individual's family medical history). The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.
If you are experiencing discrimination at work, please contact your PSEA UniServ Representative.