Discrimination can take place because of a person’s age, sex, or numerous other factors. Depending on the jurisdiction, some reasons for discriminating against a person are illegal. Age is one reason a person might be discriminated against, whether he or she is young or old. Sex is another reason; for example, an employer might prefer to hire men or refuse to hire people whose gender is not obvious. In some places, racial discrimination is rampant, meaning people prefer a certain race over another.
When people talk about age discrimination, they often refer to discriminatory actions against older people. Middle-aged to elderly people sometimes cannot get a job they are suited for or are fired from current jobs in favor of giving the position to someone younger. Young people can — and often are — discriminated against, however. For example, a young person might lose out on a job opportunity because the employer prefers to hire older people, believing someone older will do a better job overall.
At times, people may be discriminated against based on their gender or sexual orientation. Some employers may discriminate based on these facts due to their own personal feelings or ideas about what the job requires. For example, an employer in a restaurant might prefer female servers over male ones because he or she believes women make better servers. Another example might be that of an employer not wanting to hire a woman for a certain job, because he or she does not believe women are comfortable with physically demanding work. In other situations, an employer might simply dislike a certain gender or sexual orientation instead of believing that a certain gender or sexual orientation is inferior.
Racial discrimination can lead to limited housing opportunities, unemployment, and much more for the discriminated race. This type of discrimination is often based on physical appearance; for example, a landlord might refuse to rent to people with dark skin. While this type of discrimination is rarely seen in some jurisdictions, it is rampant in others.
There is also disability discrimination, which is where a qualified but disabled person applies for a job and is turned down because of the disability. Being denied based on a disability is normally not considered discriminatory if the disability prevents the disabled applicant from performing necessary job tasks, however. While disability discrimination usually refers to actions taken by an employer, there are also other ways to discriminate against the disabled.