As a general rule, employers in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States are not allowed to discriminate against workers based on their religion or gender. They are also generally not allowed to treat workers differently because they are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Take a look at some of the most common forms of discrimination at work and how state or federal laws might protect you from adverse employment decisions.

Companies might try to discriminate against those with disabilities

Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, your employer is not allowed to fire, demote or otherwise take adverse against you simply because you have a learning or other type of disability. In many cases, a disability will cause difficulty with reading, writing or communicating in general, and there is a chance that your condition went undiagnosed as a child. Therefore, you may not even realize that you have a disability or that there might be actions that you can take to overcome it.

Workers must be paid equally regardless of gender

The Equal Pay Act requires that men and women be compensated equally for performing the same types of work. Generally speaking, this means that a female worker is entitled to stock options or overtime pay if a man in the same position would also be entitled to those forms of payment. However, research suggests that women make about 81 cents for every dollar that men make in the workplace.

You can’t be treated differently because of your sexual orientation

According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, workers cannot be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Furthermore, employers should not take adverse actions against employees simply because they associate with someone who doesn’t conform to gender or sexual norms.

If a supervisor or a company executive makes an employment decision based on your gender, religion or sexual orientation, it may be a good idea to hire an employment law attorney. An attorney may be able to help you obtain a favorable settlement or beneficial outcome in court.