Examples of Illegal Discrimination

Illegal Discrimination Defined
What is discrimination?
Discrimination is defined generally as being treated differently than someone else. Not all discrimination is illegal.

What is illegal discrimination?
Illegal discrimination is defined generally as being treated differently than someone else "because of"  a protected characteristic. 

What does "because of" mean?
It means motivated by.  If the protected characteristic was a motivating factor in the incident, then the incident is usually a discriminatory practice.  There are some limited exceptions or defenses.

How do you know whether an incident occurred because of a protected characteristic?
In determining whether the protected characteristic was a factor in the incident, an attorney in the City's Legal Department collects and analyzes evidence.

Examples of Employment Discrimination
The following would be considered illegal discrimination if the decision is made because of a protected characteristic:

• Failure to hire
• Harassment
• Quid pro quo: Conditioning employment or promotion on sexual favors
• Hostile Work Environment:  Continous actions and comments based on protected characteristics
  that create an uncomfortable and hostile workplace
• Job assignment
• Compensation
• Failure to promote
• Failure to provide reasonable accommodation to a person with a disability despite the fact that it
  would not cause undue hardship to an employer
• Retaliation by an employer for actions protected by the Human Rights Ordinance
• Termination

Examples of Housing Discrimination
The following would be considered illegal discrimination if there is evidence that the decision was made based on a protected characteristic:
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Refusal to Provide Services
  • Unfair Lending Practices
  • Misrepresenting the Availability of Housing
  • Refusal to Allow “Reasonable Modifications”
  • Refusing Rental
  • Racial Harassment
  • Discouraging Rental