People in Pennsylvania should know that there are characteristics that are protected from discrimination under the law. For example, an employer can discriminate based on experience. A company may need to hire a person with a specific set of skills at a particular level, but it cannot discriminate based on race, age, disability or gender. Unfortunately, even with protections, some employers still violate these rules.

Any organization can have a problem

Sometimes, people expect that some organizations will be more amenable to nondiscrimination rules and regulations than others. The truth is that discrimination can happen anywhere even in charities designed to make the world a better place. One example of this happened recently when a former employee sued the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI).

The CZI was founded by Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan. The goal of CZI is to give away the family’s fortune in Facebook shares. CZI focuses on giving money to community organizations, increasing access to opportunities and making the world a better place overall. That’s why it came as a surprise when a former employee sued for racial discrimination.

The former employee seems to have lots of evidence to support his claims. They include the revelation that he wasn’t able to renegotiate his compensation package even though non-Black employees were. He was also shocked that after he and other POC wrote to Priscilla Chan, she delegated the issue to a newer officer, the chief operations officer. The case is still working itself out.

If you believe that you’ve been illegally discriminated against, it’s important to contact a lawyer. Remember, HR departments are designed to protect the company. When it comes to workplace discrimination, you need an advocate working for your interests.