Discrimination

Private sector employees and employers face a wide range of potential issues and claims concerning employment discrimination.

Federal & Colorado Discrimination Law

Employment discrimination is addressed through a series of federal laws and the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act [CADA]. Federal and Colorado law prohibit employment discrimination on the following bases.

  • Age
  • Race or Color
  • National Origin
  • Equal Pay
  • Sex | Sexual Orientation
  • Pregnancy
    • Unlawful discrimination includes discrimination because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
  • Equal Pay
  • Disability
    • Employers are required to reasonably accommodate an individual’s disability.
  • Religion
    • Unlawful discrimination includes discrimination on the basis of a person’s religion, religious practice, or religious observances.
    • Employers are required to reasonably accommodate an individual’s religion, religious practice, or religious observances unless the employer proves the reasonable accommodation cannot be accomplished without imposing an undue hardship on the employer.
Harassment/Hostile Work Environment

Harassment on the basis of a protected trait or membership in a protected class, i.e. race, constitutes unlawful discrimination.

Harassment is actionable where the objectionable conduct results in a tangible employment action, i.e. a serious action such as discharge; or where the conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of employment and create an abusive or hostile environment.

Colorado Discrimination Law

In addition to the above discriminatory prohibitions, the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act [CADA], prohibits employment discrimination because an individual is a victim of domestic abuse.

The CADA prohibits discharge based on an employee’s participation in lawful off-duty activities. Concerning employers with 25 or more employees, the CADA prohibits an employer from refusing to hire or discharging a person because of the person’s marital status.

Discriminatory Actions

Prohibited employment discrimination includes adverse actions taken against a person because of a protected characteristic, status, or membership in a legally protected class, i.e. a discharge based on disability.

These adverse actions include but are not limited to: (1) failure or refusal to hire; (2) discharge; (3) promotion, job assignments, demotion; (4) discipline; (5) actions concerning the terms, conditions or privileges of employment; (4) payment of compensation, wages, and benefits; or (5) limiting, segregating, or classifying employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his or her status because of such individual’s protected status.

Administrative Proceedings

Pursuant to most employment discrimination laws, an individual seeking relief for discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, must file an administrative charge before filing a civil action in court. A charge must be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC] within 300 days of the discriminatory action. The aggrieved individual may also file a charge with the Colorado Civil Rights Division within 180 days of the last discriminatory action.

Conclusion

Murray Law welcomes the opportunity to provide provides counsel and representation to employees and employers addressing the issue of employment discrimination. Please call Steven Murray at 720-600-6642.

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