What Does “Protected Status” Mean in Discrimination Law?
Have you suffered discrimination at your workplace? Are you wondering if there is anything you can do about it? How can you protect yourself? What laws are set in place to protect employees like you?
Unfortunately, these are all questions that some employees may encounter during their employment. This may involve confusing legal terminology, laws and policies that can be difficult to understand, especially for someone who may be experiencing discrimination at the time. The good news is that there are laws set in place to protect employees from being discriminated against by an employer.
The Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protect workers from discrimination. The laws refer to protected classes. It is illegal to discriminate against an employee because of their membership in a protected class. When it comes to employment discrimination, protected classes refer to a person’s race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability, public assistance, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, familial status, and local human rights commission activity.
This means that employers cannot discriminate against employees, or treat them differently, based on any of these protected classes. Now, discrimination can look different for everyone, and it can involve various types of negative treatment against someone, so it is important to speak to an attorney that specializes in these types of cases. The law in this area is complicated and changes frequently.
If you feel you have experienced discrimination or retaliation at work because you belong to a protected class, our attorneys at Kitzer Rochel are here to help. Please contact us today. We advocate on behalf of employees facing discrimination, retaliation, and whistleblower issues in the workplace.