Discrimination & Sexual Harassment
Both federal and Tennessee statutes provide an employee with remedies
against employment discrimination in the workplace
based on an employee’s sex, age, color, religion, race, nationality or
disability. In addition these same statutes protect an individual from
retaliation that results from making or supporting a discrimination
discrimination refers to bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment,
wrongful termination, compensation, and different forms of harassment.
Employment discrimination law consists of federal and state statutes,
although the U.S. Constitution and Tennessee Constitution also provide
some protection against discrimination in employment.
It is illegal to
discriminate in hiring, promotions, termination or other aspects of
employment on the basis of a person’s race, color, national origin,
religion, disability, or age, or to retaliate against an individual for
opposing such practices, or consulting an attorney or the United States
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or state EEOC offices.
Damages in employment
discrimination and retaliation cases include loss of wages and
benefits, loss of future wages and benefits, damage to career and
emotional distress/mental anguish. A court can order reinstatement
and/or other equitable relief against an offending defendant. Punitive
damages are also available under federal law.
Sexual harassment now constitutes
the majority of gender discrimination claims. Sexual harassment can be either Quid Pro Quo or
hostile environment sexual harassment. Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment
occurs when an employer or supervisor demands sexual favors in exchange
for raises, promotions, or other benefits, or threatens an employee for
failure to provide such favors. The sexual advances must be unwelcome.
A person who provides sexual favors may still be able to pursue a case
of sexual harassment.
Hostile environment sexual harassment is when the
working environment is hostile because of its sexual nature. If your
working environment is made intolerable by photos, comments, jokes, or
other acts of an offensive sexual nature, including physical touching,
there may be a claim for sexual harassment.