When it comes to discrimination in the workplace, much has been done to protect employees from unfair business practices. Federal and state laws exist to establish the workplace as a safe, fair, and productive environment for all members, regardless of race, national origin, sex, religion, disability, or other protected status as described in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and other statutes. Despite the progress that has been made, employers are legally able to take other kinds of bias into consideration when making business decisions, such as deciding whom to hire or even interview. These forms of discrimination are legal by today’s standards.
Virginia is just one of the over half of all states that allows employers to make employment decisions based on your credit history. According to the Society for Human Resource management, roughly 47% of all employers reported conducting credit checks on at least some prospective hires. This means that a potential employer may consider any unpaid bills, foreclosures, or your debt when deciding whether or not to hire you. Although you must give consent for a prospective employer to run a credit check, your application may be discarded if no consent is given. This makes it possible for a prospective employer to deem you unfit for a position because they perceive you to be irresponsible due to your debts.
Strangely enough, discriminating against those who are unemployed is legal. Unemployment discrimination occurs when an employer does not consider a job application from a jobless applicant, or does not hire an applicant for a job based on the fact that the applicant is unemployed. Just a handful of states have passed laws against unemployment discrimination, including New York, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. Currently, no federal law exists to protect those who have no job from being discriminated against when applying for a new position. Although many more states have attempted to introduce legislation against unemployment discrimination, many of these attempts have failed. As of June 2017, Virginia has not passed any legislation that prohibits unemployment discrimination.
Virginia is an at-will employment state which means you could be terminated without reason or notice; however, there are limits. Federal and state regulations protect members of certain classes from unfair treatment in the workplace. If you feel that you have been treated illegally at work or are an employer who is looking to ensure your HR policies are in compliance with the law, speak with a knowledgeable employment attorney in Virginia Beach to discuss your case. Call (757) 222-9165 or contact Bertini Law to find out how a compassionate and strong discrimination attorney can help you.