Unlawful discrimination refers to the illegal prejudice against certain individuals based on certain characteristics. This discrimination can either be very apparent or quite subtle. Many companies have policies against unlawful discrimination. Individuals who are discriminated against based on certain things, like gender and race, can often take legal action.
Unlawful discrimination can happen just about anywhere. Some of these places include places of employment or prospective employment, learning institutions, housing facilities, and financial institutions. Individuals denied something from any of these types of places, solely based on certain characteristics, are often victims of unlawful discrimination.
Individuals can be discriminated against based on their gender, race, nationality, or religion. Individuals may also be victims of unlawful discrimination based on age. This usually only applies to people who are over a certain age, usually 40.
An example of unlawful workplace or business discrimination based on gender involves a man and a woman interviewing for the same position. If the woman's qualifications and experience are equal to or better than the man's, it would be considered illegal, in many places, to hire the man simply because he is male. In the United States, victims of this type of unlawful discrimination are protected by the Equal Opportunity Employment Act.
Racial discrimination is another type of illegal discrimination. This occurs when a person is discriminated against based on his race, including skin color or other physical features. Nationality discrimination is similar, and victims of this type of discrimination are usually treated unfairly simply because of their country of origin.
Some areas may even consider discrimination based on marital status to be unlawful. This type of discrimination occurs when individuals are treated unfairly based on whether they are married. Individuals may also be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, pregnancy, children, religion, and disability.
Some unlawful discrimination is easy to prove. It is often known as direct unlawful discrimination. With direct discrimination, the perpetrator will often make certain discriminating or disparaging remarks. For example, a loan officer who does not approve a loan to a qualifying African-American couple may make the comment that people of their race can not hold a steady job. This is considered to be direct discrimination.
Indirect unlawful discrimination is sometimes a little harder to prove. Perpetrators of this type of discrimination usually will not make discriminatory comments. An example of this would be an employer who only hires people under the age of 30 years old even though he doesn't announce that he will not hire older workers.