Harassment and Discrimination

Discrimination in employment has been illegal in the United States in one form or another for over 50 years. Unfortunately, it is still quite common. The attorneys at Pelton Graham are here to help you understand and protect your rights.

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Discrimination is Prohibited

It is illegal to discriminate against applicants or employees because of a person’s race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to retaliate against a person because they complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

Discrimination is prohibited in every aspect of employment, including:

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Worried Arabic businesswoman wearing hijab receiving a notification from a colleague in her workplace
Businessman sexually harassing female colleague during working hours at a workplace

Discriminatory practices often apply to a group of applicants or employees. In these cases, a class action may be appropriate to enforce individuals’ rights. Like consumer class actions, employment class actions seek relief for a large number of individuals damaged by the same actions.



Harassment is a specific type of employment discrimination and can also violate other civil and criminal laws.

Harassment in employment is unwelcome conduct directed against a person in a protected class. Harassment is unlawful if tolerating the offensive conduct is a condition of employment, or if the conduct creates a generally hostile work environment. Workplace harassment isn’t limited to sexual harassment, and can include people of the same gender. The harasser can be your boss, a supervisor in another department, a co-worker, or even a non-employee.

Other common types of harassment not based on the victim being in a protected class:

Common types of discriminatory harassment:

If an Investigation Begins

If an internal complaint process or investigation begins, do not sign a “confidentiality agreement” without legal advice, as it may require you to arbitrate your claims, prohibit you from talking to others and gathering evidence, or otherwise significantly limit your rights. In addition, retaliation is an all-too-common result of complaints of discrimination, despite numerous laws designed to prevent it. The attorneys at Pelton Graham are experienced at protecting their clients from retaliation.

We’re Here to Help

If you or a loved one has been discriminated against, especially if it affects a number of employees in the same situation, you should act promptly to seek advice. This is important both in order stop the unfair practices, and because employment protection laws have strict filing deadlines which could bar your claim. Pelton Graham is here to help.

Contact us today