Veterinarian checking out dog patient.

An Overview of Employment Discrimination Laws for Veterinary Practice Owners

If you own a veterinary practice, you must ensure that your hiring practices comply with state and federal law. There are a number of laws on the books that are intended to protect job applicants from discrimination. In fact, there are so many anti-discrimination laws on the books that veterinary practice owners sometimes inadvertently fail to comply with them. It is for this reason that every veterinary practice owner should consult with an experienced veterinary attorney to ensure compliance with all federal and state anti-discrimination requirements. Below is an overview of employment discrimination laws for veterinary practice owners. 

Types of Discrimination 

Most types of discrimination during the hiring process are prohibited by federal law. An employer may not discriminate against a job candidate based on any of the following characteristics:

  • Age
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Pregnancy
  • Disability 
  • Race
  • National origin

Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws 

The following laws are the most important federal anti-discrimination laws that veterinary practice owners should be aware of during the hiring process. 

  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act – This law prohibits discrimination on the basis of age against employees over the age of 40.
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion.
  • Family and Medical Leave Act – The Family and Medical Leave Act requires employers to grant eligible employees unpaid time off from work on family or medical leave for up to 12 weeks per year. Employers may not discriminate against employees who take leave pursuant to this law.  
  • Equal Pay Act – This law prohibits employers from paying different wages to men and women who perform equal work under similar conditions.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act – The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against employees and job applicants based on physical or mental disabilities. This law also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees for the essential functions of their positions.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1991 – This law provides victims of employment discrimination with the ability to seek compensatory and punitive damages.
  • Pregnancy Discrimination ActThis law prohibits discrimination on the basis of childbirth, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical issues. Under this law, pregnant women must be treated the same as other employees or job applicants with similar abilities.

Contact a Veterinary Attorney Today 

If you own a veterinary practice or plan on purchasing a veterinary practice, you must ensure that your hiring practices are compliant with all applicable anti-discrimination laws. If you fail to comply with these laws, you can face serious legal repercussions. In order to ensure compliance and protect your livelihood, you should engage the services of an experienced veterinary attorney. Please contact the experienced attorneys at Mahan Law today to arrange a consultation.