Not every unfair act is illegal. Below are some examples of what could be illegal discrimination in employment.
- A company gives pay raises only to its white employees, even though employees of other races and skin colors have the same training and experience.
- A construction company denies interviews to women because it does not want to hire women to fill positions tradionally held by men.
- An employment agency refers white applicants to the highest paying jobs because they are white, racial minorities are referred to lower paying jobs.
- An employee's co-workers harass him/her with racial slurs and post racially offensive symbols and images in the workplace. This happens every week. The employer knows about it but does nothing.
- A company fires an employee because she gets pregnant.
- A supervisor denies promotions to certain employees because they have disabilities.
- An employer demotes older workers to jobs that pay less because of their age — they are "too old to learn new things."
- An employer does not compensate a particular group of employees for overtime work because of the group's national origin—all other employees get paid time and a half for the extra hours they work.