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Discrimination any situation in which a group or individual is treated unfavorably based on prejudice usually against their membership of a socially distinct group or category Such categories include ethnicity sex sexual orientation religion socio-economic status age and disability Discrimination applying to the equal availability of employment opportunities housing and goods and services is widely legislated against Gender A person now has the right not to be subjected to less favorable treatment on the grounds of sex and can sue the discriminator for damages if there is discrimination It is applicable typically in the provision of employment services and education Discrimination either direct or indirect is prohibited Direct discrimination occurs generally when a benefit is denied to a woman simply because she is a woman this law has been used to enforce equality in the workplace as well as requiring for example men-only public bars to admit women Indirect discrimination occurs when a benefit or employment opportunity depends on a requirement that is more likely to be met by one sex than another and which cannot be objectively justified against job-related criteria it has been used to make unlawful a top age limit for many job applications for example because more women than men are likely to be over this limit since women are more likely to have taken time out of a career to have children In order to give effect to the Acts the Equal Opportunities Commission was established in Britain It operates by supporting test cases under the Acts investigating employers suspected of widespread discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity via for example good practice guides for employers While it is funded by the government it is an independent body and has successfully sued the government on behalf of part-time workers the majority of whom are female A related provision against discrimination requires that there should be no discrimination with regard to employees pay on the grounds of sex European law
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