Idaho Workplace Discrimination

There are a number of state and federal antidiscrimination laws in place, like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Idaho Human Rights Act, that ensure employees in Idaho are treated fairly in the workplace, regardless of any personal characteristics, like race or religion, and that protect them from unlawful harassment or retaliation in employment. If you believe your employer has discriminated against you in any way, by making an employment decision that violates your legal rights, contact a knowledgeable Idaho workplace discrimination lawyer today to discuss your options for legal recourse. You may have grounds to file a discrimination claim against your employer, in order to pursue financial compensation for lost wages and other related damages.

Protected Characteristics in Idaho

Workplace discrimination occurs when an employer makes an employment decision that has a disproportionate adverse impact on members of a protected class, or a group of people with a shared characteristic that is protected by law. If, for example, an employer excludes from consideration for a promotion all employees of a certain age or race, the employees adversely affected by the employment decision may have a claim for employment discrimination. In Idaho, the following characteristics are considered protected:

  • Race
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex (including pregnancy and childbirth)
  • Genetic information
  • Age (over 40)
  • Veteran status
  • Color
  • Disability (physical or mental)
  • Citizenship status

Types of Employment Discrimination

The provisions of federal and Idaho state antidiscrimination laws are very broad, and are designed to protect employees and job applicants from discrimination in any part of the employment relationship, including:

  • Job applications and inquiries
  • Hiring
  • Recommendations
  • Overtime
  • Salary
  • Discipline
  • Job assignments
  • Promotions
  • Firing (wrongful termination)
  • Terms and conditions of employment

Harassment and Retaliation in Employment

Idaho antidiscrimination laws also prohibit employers from harassing or retaliating against an employee based on his membership in a protected class, or because of his participation in an activity that is protected by law. Unlawful sexual harassment in the workplace, a form of sex discrimination, may include unwelcome sexual advances, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, or requests for sexual favors by an employer, supervisor or another person at work. There are two forms of sexual harassment in the workplace: quid pro quo harassment, in which it is stated or implied that submission to sexual harassment is a term or condition of the employment, and hostile work environment harassment, in which the harassment is so continuous or pervasive that it creates a hostile, intimidating or offensive setting at work.

Unlawful retaliation in the workplace occurs when an Idaho employer disciplines or otherwise submits an employee to unfair treatment in retaliation for exercising his rights or participating in a protected activity. For example, it is against the law for an employer to take negative action against an employee who refuses to commit an illegal or wrongful act, files a workers’ compensation claim, files a complaint for unpaid wages, opposes an unlawful discriminatory practice, or reports illegal activity on the part of the employer (whistleblowing).

An Experienced Idaho Employment Law Attorney Can Help

Discrimination in any part of the employment relationship, from hiring to pay to firing, is against the law, and Idaho employees who have been discriminated against in the workplace have rights under state and federal law. If you believe you have been the victim of employment discrimination in Idaho, you may choose to hire an Idaho employment law attorney to represent your case and help you file a charge of discrimination against your employer, either with the Idaho Commission on Human Rights or, if the IHRC dismisses your complaint, as a private action in court. Don’t hesitate to protect your rights, as you will have only 90 days from the date your administrative complaint was dismissed by the Idaho Commission on Human Rights to file a lawsuit in civil court.