Marital status discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee differently based on their marital status. This type of discrimination is illegal under federal law, as well as many state laws. Despite this, it is still unfortunately common in the workplace.
There are a few common reasons that some employers commit marital status discrimination:
Some employers may hold biases or stereotypes about married individuals, such as assuming that they are more responsible or committed to their jobs. On the other hand, they may hold negative stereotypes about individuals who are not married, such as assuming that they are less reliable or less committed. These biases can lead to discriminatory treatment in the workplace.
Employers may discriminate against employees based on their marital status when it comes to benefits. For example, an employer may offer health insurance or other benefits to employees who are married, but not to those who are single.
An employer might conclude that a married employee is more deserving of benefits because they have a family to care for, or are likely to in the future. This is an unfair attitude that can deprive unmarried workers of the benefits they deserve.
Some employers may have a preference for hiring or promoting individuals who are married, or for those who are not married. This type of discrimination is illegal and can have serious consequences for the affected employees.
Some employers may have personal beliefs or values that lead them to discriminate against employees based on their marital status. For example, if your boss is religious or otherwise adheres to “traditional” value systems, they might harbor a conscious or unconscious bias against an unmarried employee
Sometimes, employers are actually more inclined to discriminate against married employees than unmarried workers. They may do so if they believe that a married employee will be less focused on their job and more focused on their relationship.
Marital status discrimination can have serious consequences for affected employees. It can lead to lost opportunities for advancement, lower pay, and a hostile work environment.
Hopefully, you will never experience this form of discrimination in the workplace. However, if you do, it’s important to understand that you have legal options. For example, if you lost your job due to your marital status, you could file a claim or lawsuit seeking compensation and/or reinstatement to your job.
Just be aware that proving marital status discrimination can be a challenge. You need to gather evidence of discriminatory behavior on the part of your employer while refuting their claims that their treatment of you was based on factors such as your performance.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take legal action if you’ve been wronged. It simply means you should improve your chances of winning your case by enlisting the help of a qualified legal professional. At JML Law, a Riverside, California employment law attorney is on hand to offer the representation you deserve. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at 818-610-8800 for a free consultation.