In 2009, federal employees and applicants filed 16,947 complaints alleging employment discrimination. These complaints ranged from discrimination on the basis of race, color, and sex, to national origin, age, and disability.

But, how do you recognize discrimination in your workplace? Here are four areas of employment discrimination every federal employee should be familiar with.

1.  Age Discrimination

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prevents employers from discriminating against employees or job applicants based on age. The ADEA, which covers employees who are 40 years of age and older, protects against discrimination during the hiring, promotion, and termination processes, as well as in the areas of health and life insurance, retirement, and in times of downsizing.

2.  Disability Discrimination

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects against discrimination of people with disabilities by requiring that “reasonable accommodations” be made for them. For federal employees, the Rehabilitation Act provides the same safeguards. Reasonable accommodations may include installing wheelchair ramps, modifying work schedules, providing an interpreter, and allowing for additional unpaid leave for medical reasons. Prohibited discrimination includes setting standards that make it harder for disabled employees to compete, or classifying disabled employees so that their job opportunities are more limited than those of non-disabled employees.

3.  Gender Discrimination

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees against sex discrimination, making it illegal for an employer to fail or refuse to hire, to discharge an individual, or to otherwise discriminate against an individual with respect to his or her compensation, terms, or privileges of employment. Sexual harassment is a unique form of gender discrimination and protects the right of individuals to secure and perform their jobs free of unwanted demands for romantic or sexual relationships, or unwanted behaviors of a sexual nature that interfere with their ability to work.

4.  Race Discrimination

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also protects employees from being discriminated against based on their race. The Act prevents employers from firing, disciplining, or refusing to hire; paying an employee less; failing to provide benefits, promotions, or opportunities; or improperly classifying or segregating employees based on their race.

If you believe that you, or someone you know, has been discriminated against on the bases of any of the four areas discussed above, you may wish to seek legal counsel. The Law Offices of Snider & Associates, LLC, has over 60 years of combined experience handling cases that affect federal employees. We’re here to help, so contact us anytime. Navigating a discrimination case can be stressful, but you don’t have to face it alone.