Affected Class is a term used to describe a group of potential, present or former employees who are negatively affected by an employer’s discriminatory policies or practices.
Discrimination in the workplace may be intentional or a result of policies that, when implemented, have an adverse impact on a specific group of employees. Employees in an affected class typically share a characteristic that renders them, as a group, particularly vulnerable to negative consequences of a discriminatory policy, even when the policy is not intended to discriminate against employees with that characteristic. Examples of traits specific to an affected class include age, gender, sexual orientation, adherence to a particular religion, national origin and race. Negative impact on an affected class may manifest as failure to promote, denial of bonuses and opportunities, failure to hire, unwarranted dismissal or the creation of a hostile work environment.
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