Can a company discriminate against your voice or how you sound?

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Can a company discriminate against your voice or how you sound?

I have worked for a telecommunications company for about 4 years now. They have prevented me from reading scripts over the telephone when doing a conference call introduction. The only thing I did wrong was misread the script on a call. I have been prevented from reading a live script over the phone since.

Asked on December 21, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) The law does not prohit "discrimination" on the basis of someone's voice or how they sound--that is not one of the protected categories. Only certain specific forms of discrimination (e.g. against race, religion, sex, age over 40, or the disabled) are actually illegal discrimination under the law.

2) If you misread a script, you are not being discriminated against--the employer is choosing to not allow an employee who had difficulty with a task repeat that task, which is their right. Employers are not required to let every employee do each and every task; they may assign functions or work on the basis of performance or ability.

 


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