Although some actions may very be unfair, not every action is prohibited by civil rights laws. Discriminatory actions by an employer must be actions that occur due to a person's protected status. Protected statuses include race, religion, gender, national origin, color, disability, pregnancy, familial status and veteran status.
A discriminatory act is prohibited at all stages of employment, from advertising an open position to termination of a person's employment. Employers may not discriminate against a worker in its hiring decisions or in promotions, pay, or provision of benefits or bonuses, for example. If a person's civil rights have been violated, he or she may attempt to negotiate a settlement short of filing a lawsuit in court. In many cases, he or she may need to pursue the matter through litigation.