Delaware Brings Uniformity To Anti-Discrimination Policies
State and federal laws prohibit businesses in Delaware to discriminate against employees based on factors such as age, race, religion and gender. Up until recently, the state government left it up to each of its agencies to create its own policy addressing the matter. However, Gov. John Carney changed that by issuing an executive order stating that there must be one policy by which all agencies abide.
As reported by WMDT, the order is a necessary part of resolving issues related to employment discrimination. The state’s human resources department will now be tasked with developing a consisted policy across the board that addresses both the behavior and the complaint process.
In a press release issued by the state government, a state representative and treasurer of the Delaware Black Caucus noted that the culture in workplaces must change in order to ensure that people are given equal opportunities. Also, it is necessary for employees to feel comfortable notifying management about issues they are having.
The order mandates that a policy be in place by April 1.
Delaware’s current laws
Delaware law states that no one may receive unfair treatment in the workplace based on any of the following:
- Sexual orientation
- Color, race or national origin
- Sex or pregnancy
- Age (if the person is 40 or older)
Anti-discrimination laws also include marital status and genetic information. Discrimination occurs when someone is harassed, treated poorly, denied a benefit or change or retaliated against based on these factors. For example, it is illegal to deny someone a promotion based on his or her race.
Filing a claim
When discrimination does occur, it is imperative for victims to take action. Not only does this start the road to recovery for the individual, but it could be instrumental in changing the way a company runs operations.
There are several ways to call a discriminatory practice to attention. The first is to file a claim with the Delaware Department of Labor, providing detailed information about what took place and who is involved. According to the DDOL, this must be filed within 300 days of the incident. Additionally, this must be filed prior to opening a private claim against the defendant in court.
It is also possible to alert the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission if the violation pertains to a federal law. The EEOC and the DDOL use work sharing agreements, which means employees do not need to file claims with both agencies.
Understanding a worker’s rights is not always black-and-white. Anyone who has concerns about this topic should speak with an employment law attorney in Delaware.