Prohibited Employment Practices
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What Is Prohibited Within Employment Practices?

| December 7, 2023

Employment is a place you tend to spend half of your life in. Due to this, the organization you are employed in should be a safe place for the hours you tend to spend there. 

A variety of practices are not allowed to be occurring within the workplace. So, we have developed an extensive list of practices that are prohibited within the realm of employment. 

What Practices Are Prohibited Within Employment? 

Under the law implemented by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), there are a variety of practices that are illegal to be implemented on someone that affects their employment. 

Basic Prohibited Employment Practices

There are basic practices that are prohibited by the laws that are enforced by the EEOC in the United States. 

These prohibited practices that are illegal as per EEOC’s laws are as follows:

  1. It is illegal to discriminate against someone (employee or applicant) based on their race. 
  2. It is illegal to discriminate against someone (employee or applicant) based on their color.
  3. It is illegal to discriminate against someone (employee or applicant) based on their sex, which includes pregnancy. 
  4. It is illegal to discriminate against someone (employee or applicant) based on their nationality. 
  5. It is illegal to discriminate against someone (employee or applicant) based on their age (above the age of 40). 
  6. It is illegal to discriminate against someone (employee or applicant) based on their disability. 
  7. It is also illegal to retaliate against an employee who has complained, investigated or filed a lawsuit about any practice of discrimination that they have faced. 

This means the law enforced by the EEOC has enabled prohibition on all kinds of discriminatory practices within the field of employment. 

What Is The Aim Of The EROC In Employment Practices?

The primary aim of the EEOC is to reduce discriminatory practices that are practiced by employers. 

Due to this, the EEOC has been noted to encourage and mandate employers to make use of neutral employment policies and practices for reducing the occurrence of discriminatory practices in the workplace. 

There are a variety of areas of employment that are being changed by the EEOC to reduce the occurrence of discrimination in the workplace. 

The areas are as follows that require the stoppage of prohibitory employment practices/policies:

Job Publicity

According to the EEOC, it is illegal for employers to publish job advertisements that give preference to the applicant’s sex, race, age, nationality, and other socio-cultural factors. 

For instance, an employer posting a job advertisement stating it requires a ‘male accountant’ can discourage females from applying for such a job. 


It is also illegal for employers to employ candidates based on their sex, race, age, color, disability, and nationality in the United States. 

For instance, an employer that is solely dependent on the recruitment of white applicants for a particular job role can be considered a prohibitory employment practice. 

Hiring And Application 

It is illegal if an employer tends to discriminate against a job applicant based on their race, sex, age, nationality, color, religion, or nationality. 

For instance, an employer does not have the authority to prohibit giving out employment applications based on an employee’s sex. 

On the other hand, an employer is also prohibited from basing their hiring decisions based on the applicants’ socio-cultural factors. 

For example, an employer not hiring Native Indians due to stereotypes can be considered an illegal act. 

Moreover, if an employer is required to take a test before making the hiring decision, then EEOC states that the test will be based on the skills that are required in the job role. 

The employer cannot include factors in the test that negatively affects the applicant based on their socio-cultural or biological factors. 

Finally, if an applicant has some kind of disability, then they will be required to be provided with aids to effectively work with the organization. 

These can include a sign language interpreter and wheelchair access, among a few, based on the kind of disability. 

Job Referrals 

It is a prohibited employment practice to consider the referral’s race, sex, color, religion, nationality, age, and disability into consideration. 

The EEOC prohibits such employment practices for making an inclusive and diverse workplace. 

Job Assignments And Promotions 

It is a prohibited employment practice for employers to assign job roles or provide promotions based on one’s race, color, sex, religion, national identity, age, and disability. 

For instance, a manager is prohibited from discriminating between their team members while assigning a particular job assignment. An example can include a manager not assigning technical projects to female team members. 

This can be because the manager might have a stereotypical notion that women are not good at technical jobs. 

On the other hand, segregating a particular group of employees belonging to a particular race can be another example of prohibited employment practices. 

Dress Code 

Every employer has the right to develop an appropriate dress code policy that is applicable to all employees within the organization. 

But, there is a small twist to this notion, as no employer can discriminate against an employee based on their cultural or religious attire. 

For instance, an orthodox Jewish employee might come to the workplace with a head cap. But he has no right to be discriminated against based on his religious attire. 

On the other hand, if an employer wants to create a uniform dress code. Then it should be applicable to all employees. And this dress code will not be based in favor of a particular group of employees. 

For instance, if the employer decides that all employees need to wear formal attire irrespective of their religion or cultural affiliation, then it would be uniform in nature. 

Final Thoughts

Every individual is vested with the right to be protected from any kind of discrimination in the United States. 

Similarly, every job applicant and employee in the US is protected by the EEOC for the purpose of restricting the occurrence of prohibited employment practices in the workplace. 

So, it can be stated that if you face any kind of discrimination at the workplace, you have the right to acquire legal assistance based on EEOC laws to fight against your employer’s discriminatory acts.

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nilanjana basu
nilanjana basu

Nilanjana is a lawyer with a flair for writing. She has a certification in American Laws from Penn Law (Pennsylvania University). Along with this, she has been known to write legal articles that allow the audience to know about American laws and regulations at ease.


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