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Have a Legal Question?
All employees have what are called “basic rights” in the workplace. These rights include a right to privacy, fair compensation for work performed (no indentured servitude), and freedom from discrimination.
Employees are Protected Against Discrimination in the Workplace
Freedom from discrimination is a very important protection that the federal government provides to employees. Those rights include the right to be free from discrimination based on age, gender, race, national origin, or religion. These rights are extended not only to employees but prospective employees in the hiring process.
Hidden Discrimination in Hiring
What about the hidden discrimination during the hiring process? Discrimination that is subtle and often overlooked. This type of discrimination can happen due to sexual orientation, race, or criminal history. It may be because an applicant doesn’t look like what an employer imagined when hearing his or her voice. Whether the applicant is a different race or transgendered, hidden discrimination can sometimes be detected if an applicant notices a change in behavior or attitude from a prospective employer between the time the application was submitted or phone interview to an in-person interview.
Employers also may not discriminate based on medical records or handicaps. Employers are not allowed to access an applicant’s medical records. They are confidential and as long as the applicant’s medical condition is not a factor in the function of the job. If an employer inquires into any medical history, or implies that they have concerns about a medical condition then that may be a reason for not being hired and considered discrimination.
In order to prove that you have been discriminated against you must show that:
- You are part of a protected class.
- You were qualified for the position applied for
- The job was not offered to you
- The employer continued to seek applicants or a less qualified applicant was hired.
To qualify as a protected class you must have been discriminated against based on race, gender, national orientation, disability, religion, and in some cases sexual orientation.
You must show that you were the best applicant for the job. If can be difficult to prove but if another applicant was hired and was less qualified, it may make your case stronger.
Job was not offered to you:
This is an easy requirement to meet. If the job WAS offered to you and you rejected it, then you will not have a case.
Employer continued to seek applicants:
If you were qualified for the position and the employer continued to seek additional applicants, you may be able to move forward with your case. If another applicant who was equally qualified and also a part of a protected class was hired, your case may not be as strong.
Contact a Chicago Employment Discrimination Attorney at Goldman & Ehrlich
If you have questions about hidden discriminatory practices in the hiring process, Goldman & Ehrlich has answers for workers and employers. Call us at 312.332.6733 today or contact our Chicago office online