Call Firm Now
(510) 444-7717
Fighting for Employees Since 1978
Photo of Oakland\'s Lake Merritt at night

Discrimination and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an increase in some types of harassment. Antidiscrimination laws protect you from being harassed at work because of your national origin; race; color; religion; older age (age 40 and older); sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity); genetic information; or disability. Regarding COVID-19, they are especially important if you are being harassed, if you are “high-risk” and need extra protection from getting sick, if your employer is not allowing you to work, or if you need a modification of your employer’s COVID-19 safety requirements.

1. Are there federal laws protect you against employment discrimination because of COVID-19?
Yes. Federal laws Federal laws protect you against employment discrimination because of COVID-19. They are especially important if you are being harassed, if you are “high-risk” and need extra protection from getting sick, if your employer is not allowing you to work, or if you need a modification of your employer’s COVID-19 safety requirements. See the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission webpage for more information.

 For more information about your rights, call the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at 1-800-669-4000 (voice), 1-800-669-6820 (TTY), or 1-844-234-5122 (ASL Video Phone), or see the Workplace Fairness directory of attorneys

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has also posted a pre-recorded webinar addressing questions arising under any of the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws and the COVID-19 pandemic. The video can be seen on YouTube. A transcript of the webinar is also available.

For more information about your rights, call the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at 1-800-669-4000 (voice), 1-800-669-6820 (TTY), or 1-844-234-5122 (ASL Video Phone), or see the Workplace Fairness directory of attorneys.

2. Have people of color been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19?

Yes. These groups are at much greater risk of contracting COVID-19 and having serious complications from the virus. The resources below more information on COVID-19 and heath equity. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Equity Considerations and Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups.

Harvard Gazette “With COVID Spread, Racism – Not Race – is the Risk Factor.”