Workplace discrimination is a problem that continues to affect many workers in the United States. Although much has been done to create a fair and equitable environment, many employees in California still experience unfair and unequal treatment. This treatment is usually based on specific characteristics.
The most common characteristics for which people suffer discrimination are:
- gender/gender identity
- sexual orientation
One form of discrimination that is not commonly mentioned is marital discrimination. Marital discrimination occurs when an employer or coworker mistreats an employee because of their marital status. This means they are treated unfairly because they are single, married, widowed, or divorced.
It’s hard to imagine how an employer could discriminate against someone based on their marital status. So what does marital discrimination look like in the workplace? What are some examples?
A common example is not hiring a qualified candidate due to their marital status. Employers may choose to hire someone single because they believe the employee will have more free time to focus on work. On the other hand, the employer assumes that someone married and probably has children might have less time for work. According to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, whatever the employer’s reason, they cannot refuse to hire someone based on their marital status.
Another example is when the employer takes advantage of a single employee’s marital status. Knowing that you do not have a partner or children, the employer may assume that you have more free time and request that you work during holidays or special events. The employer can even argue that employees with families “deserve” to spend it with them, unlike a single worker. Your employer should not make differences in responsibilities or expectations based on your marital status, much less pressure you or force you to work more for this reason.
Here at Aiman - Smith & Marcy, we have tried and achieved justice for victims of workplace discrimination. You don’t have to go through this alone. We can help you receive the justice you deserve.