Sometimes, employment discrimination involves a combination of discriminatory actions, such as age and sex-based discrimination together. Age discrimination occurs when a job applicant or employee is treated less favorably because or their age and sex-based discrimination occurs when an applicant or employee is unfavorably treated because of their sex.
The law forbids age and sex discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
When an employee is harassed at work because of their age or sex or a combination thereof, it can be very intimidating. Harassment based on age or sex is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision, such as the victim being fired or demoted.
Unfortunately, as we have seen in recent news accounts, sex and age discrimination on the job are not that unusual. The good new is that the law is poised to punish employers who do not protect their employees from harassment and retaliation stemming from discrimination in the workplace.
Just last month, plaintiffs attorneys in a sex and age discrimination case involving a leading insurance company asked the jury to send a “message of significance” to the company that subjected a star employee to discrimination and – they delivered.
$20 million will be paid to a 60-year-old, award-winning sales woman in a case that alleged retaliation, age and sex discrimination at the hands of her employer. The $20 million punitive award on top of the $450,000 in damages, hints at the egregiously insidious nature of discrimination. In fact, punitive damages are often awarded to reform or deter defendants and others from engaging in similar conduct, particularly when a violation of the law is difficult to detect.
Hopefully, with the tide of plaintiffs prevailing in discrimination suits, the message is coming across loud and clear to employers that workplace harassment and retaliation will not be tolerated. If you have been a victim of workplace discrimination based on age, sex, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, pregnancy, disability and other protected statuses or have been subject to harassment including sexual harassment or harassment based on race, national origin or other characteristics which employers do not remedy, contact the Law Offices of Marc Humphrey. Our Des Moines Iowa employment law team can help you. Call today 515-331-3510 to discuss your situation.
Source: Kansas City Star, Discrimination case wins $20 million verdict against American Family Insurance, by Diane Stafford, December 12, 2016.