AmI facing employment discrimination because of my experience?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

AmI facing employment discrimination because of my experience?

I’m applying for the first paid position (which happens to be the exact position I’ve been doing for 4 years, unpaid) at a non-profit organization I co-founded 6 years ago. The board of directors are not allowing me to use references from anyone who has had any tie to this organization. Is this legal? Of course all my best references are former co-workers at this organization and I think not allowing them puts me at a significant disadvantage.

Asked on December 8, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First, only certain forms of discrimination are actually illegal. Under federal law, employers can't discriminate on the basis of race, religion, age over 40, sex, or disability. Some states, like NY, NJ, IL, or CA, add a few more categories, such as sexual orientation, family status, or national origin. But apart from the specifically protected categories, "discrimination" is legal--that is, except as provided by law, employers do not need to be fair to everyone, unfortunately.

Second, even in regards to the protected categories, an employer may take an action which disadvantages a member of one of those categories, so long as the action is justifiable on non-discriminatory grounds. Barring the use of references from people at the organization could serve legitimate purposes, such as insuring that the organization looks beyond its own confines in making hiring decisions, and would therefore likely be non-discriminatory, anyway.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption