It may have been difficult trying
to decide which situation was actually discrimination or harassment
and if it was illegal. You may have found yourself unsure
about the correct answer. One of the problems may have been a lack
of information. The more information you have on a situation the
better able you are to make an informed decision. Another reason
for the uncertainty may have stemmed from the many myths that we
often hear about our rights in the workplace. Let’s examine some
of the most common myths about employee rights.
Click on the file below to open, print and review the information
on Common Myths.
Some of the most
common myths in the workplace center around discrimination.
Many times what we believe to be discrimination actually is
not. Literally, discrimination is nothing more than the act
of making or recognizing a difference between two things.
Often, in the workplace, discrimination means the act of treating
people differently, not based on merit but based on the color
of their skin, the shape of their eyes, their manner of dress
or speaking, their sex and so forth. Sometimes we treat a
person better because s/he is like us or worse because s/he
is different from us. It is at these times that we might engage
in illegal discrimination.
major types of illegal discrimination occur when an employer, a
labor union or an employment agency:
||Treats an employee,
applicant or former employee differently because of his or her
race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, or disability;
||Uses a selection
procedure, test, qualification, employment rule or other device,
neutral on its face but which causes a substantial, negative
impact upon a group of persons because of their race or color,
sex, national origin, religion, age, or disability;
||Fails to provide
a reasonable accommodation to an employee's, applicant's, or
former employee's religious or disability-based needs;
|| Helps create or
condone a work environment that includes harassment of such
frequency and/or severity that it rises to the level of a condition
of employment for one or more persons working in the environment
and such that the harassment is based upon race or color, sex,
national origin, religion, age, or disability; or
a person for opposing a practice made illegal as described above
or for participating in any investigation or proceeding under
one of the Federal employment discrimination laws Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) administers.
This program was developed
by the West Virginia State Department of Education, the West Virginia
Workplace Education Program, and the Regional Education Service
Agency (RESA) V.