Three Types of Employment Discrimination That Will Not Go Away

Three Types of Employment Discrimination That Will Not Go Away

In 1964, even though he knew it might cost him the upcoming presidential election, Lyndon Johnson successfully pushed for the then-controversial Civil Rights Act. The CRA did more than prohibit racial discrimination in public places. It also prohibited most types of employment discrimination. Yet nearly 60 years later, many of these behaviors persist.

Sometimes, the discrimination is so deeply ingrained that employers do not realize it is wrong. This issue is especially common in gender discrimination claims. In other cases, the economic temptation to cut corners is too great. That is especially true with regard to accommodations during the interview process. However, these excuses never justify illegal conduct. 

If job discrimination is a problem, a Chicago employment lawyer can stand up for your rights. These rights include more than a discrimination-free workplace. Bias victims also have the right to financial compensation, such as back pay, job search expenses, and lost future pay.

Sex Discrimination

Frequently, the same family operates a workplace for many generations. Procedures are passed down through the years with little regard for their effect on workers. For example, an employer might have a different formal or informal dress code for women. Employers frequently place additional burdens on female employees, like a requirement or expectation to tidy their own workspace as well as kitchens and other common areas.

Additionally, the “sex discrimination” concept is broader than it used to be. This phrase often includes not only gender discrimination but also sexual orientation bias and, in some cases, gender identity discrimination.

Age Discrimination

Several years ago, a Supreme Court ruling made these cases more difficult to win. In most claims, discrimination must be a primary factor. But in age bias claims, age must be the decisive factor. As a result, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rarely takes these cases.

That is too bad because age discrimination is on the rise. Some Millennials are approaching age 40. Furthermore, solicitations for “digital natives” often involve age discrimination. These invitations are a subtle way of saying that older workers are not welcome to apply.

Age discrimination also involves a misunderstanding of the business necessity doctrine. Restaurant chains like Hooters and Twin Peaks cannot restrict waitress hiring to young women.


Paternalistic pregnancy bias claims are rather common. Frequently, employers refuse to hire pregnant women for certain jobs which involve certain chemicals. Alternatively, these employers transfer current employees off such assignments if they become pregnant. These decisions should belong to the worker and not to the boss. Furthermore, this “paternalism” is often a selfish way to avoid a possible liability lawsuit.

Blatant pregnancy discrimination is an issue, as well. Some employers refuse to hire pregnant applicants because they do not want to provide leave time. Frequently, these employers do not believe the employee will hire a lawyer and contest the matter.

Contact a Dedicated Lawyer

Employment discrimination is an ongoing problem in Illinois. For a free consultation with an experienced Chicago employment discrimination attorney, contact the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline. We do not charge upfront legal fees in job bias cases.