Every employee deserves respect and fair treatment in the workplace. These rights are embedded in state and federal laws. According to the federal employment laws, employers and co-workers have no right to discriminate against anyone because of their national origin, race, age, religion, color, sex, or disability.
Most common types of workplace discrimination
While it comes in various forms, there are 4 types of workplace discrimination that are commonly practiced.
- Racial discrimination – Less favorable or different treatment due to ethnicity, skin color, country of origin, hair type, facial features, or relationship with a person belonging to another race
- Age discrimination – Refusing to promote employees who are over the age of 40, pressuring them to retire, or firing them from their jobs
- Sex and gender discrimination – Includes unfair treatment against pregnant women, nursing mothers, sexual orientation, gender identity, as well as sexual harassment
- Disability discrimination – Any form of unfair treatment based on physical, mental, visual, hearing, or mobility issues
Tell-tale signs of discrimination in the workplace
For grave offenses that necessitate immediate resolution of discrimination, your best option is to consult a trusted family law firm near you. You could also view website of the firms you find and check their services and track records.
Identifying workplace discrimination can be tricky because some employers or work colleagues are adept at covering their malicious intents with sweet talks. You have to be very vigilant and aware of clues of discrimination acts.
Here are some red flags and hints that discrimination is happening in your workplace.
- Promotion pass-over – If you belong to the protected class (group of people that are protected against discrimination under the law) and have been a victim of promotion pass-over a lot of times, it is a clear sign of unlawful discrimination. It keeps you from enjoying career growth and getting the opportunities to earn more.
- Inappropriate jokes and demeaning communication – If some of your work colleagues are always making distasteful or offensive jokes about your race, religion, gender, or disability, you are being attacked. Derogatory remarks that undermine transgender status, national origin, and protected class is a warning sign of discrimination, even if their excuse is just joking around for fun. Another sign is when your boss or co-worker would talk to you in a rude or demeaning tone or display unpleasant behavior that impacts your performance.
- Lack of role diversity – If your office setting has more people of certain gender, race, or age, it points out to discrimination during the process of hiring employees. Women workers can be deprived of career opportunities or getting certain positions because of gender equality in the work culture.
- Fixed roles – Only certain groups of people are getting managerial/supervisory positions. Despite your qualifications and experience, you are overlooked, and co-workers that belong to the group get the position.
- Odd interview questions – Signs of discrimination usually start during the hiring process when the HR asks stereotype questions or drops assumptions based on your gender identity, age, or race.
- Unfair disciplinary actions – Being subjected to unjust disciplinary action or criticism is a form of workplace discrimination. If it comes from your superior, this can be a subtle sign that they are attempting to make a paper trail that supports your eventual job termination.
- Poor reviews – If you believe that you are doing a great job but have been receiving poor performance reviews, you are the receiving end of discrimination. You can prove it when your co-workers, who are not working as hard as you, get higher marks and better reviews.
Other signs of discriminations
- Displaying favoritism or giving preferential treatment to a class of people in the workplace
- Threatening you verbally or issuing derogatory comments regarding your differences
- Enforcing dress codes and other requirements that place you in a difficult position because of being part of a protected group
- Retaliating with hateful words and threats after you report the harassment to HR
- Teasing your accent constantly
- Receiving less compensation than co-workers for the same position or job
- Requiring tests or upscaling requirements that are not job-related to screen out applicants of certain groups
Before filing a complaint, it is crucial to gather strong evidence and seek a professional employment law attorney to represent your case against your company. Expect that the company will disprove your allegations in all possible ways, so working with an experienced lawyer will increase your chances of winning the case. Stand up for your rights because you deserve fair treatment in any work environment.