Despite the fact that discriminatory behaviors in the workplace have been illegal and unethical for decades, it remains a prominent problem in our society. According to some surveys, as many as three in five employees feel they have experienced some form of discrimination at work.
These staggering numbers prove that discrimination continues to infringe on employee rights. Some employees might also fear that their experience of discrimination might be invalid and remain silent. However, the definition of discrimination at work is subjective. So, even if perpetrators insist on positive intentions, protected classes should seek legal counsel.
With that said, if you are experiencing any of the following examples of workplace discrimination, it’s in your best interests to consult an employment lawyer.
Direct discrimination is, by far, the most blatant example of workplace discrimination and the easiest to prove. When some employees are treated differently in comparison to other employees due to protected characteristics such as age, race, gender, religion, or other, direct discrimination is evident. With this, employees can take legal action for unfair treatment as well as discrimination.
Examples of direct discrimination include receiving less pay than your counterparts, being refused a promotion, or not receiving the same benefits as other employees.
On the other hand, indirect discrimination is less obvious but still a prominent issue in workplaces around the world. Employers might offer the same policies and practices to all employees while still overlooking protected classes.
For example, if a company or recruiter requires a set period of experience, but an employee was pregnant or temporarily disabled for a portion of that period, indirect discrimination may be valid.
Intention discrimination refers to the malicious and conscious behaviors of discrimination in the workplace. Unfortunately, intentional discrimination is also the most harmful example of workplace discrimination, as it infringes on employee well-being and mental health.
Examples of direct discrimination include targeting protected classes in a hostile work environment. Racial slurs, gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, and harassment are common denominators in intentional discrimination.
As mentioned, there are times when perpetrators will insist that their intentions are not malicious or offensive. Even so, discrimination is still relevant, even though unintentional. Inadvertently discriminating against employees is still discrimination.
For example, if employers evaluate employees based on protected characteristics and take preferences over non-protected classes, unintentional discrimination may be a driver. Another example of unintentional discrimination is when recruiters or employers inadvertently discriminate against candidates or employees by overlooking older professionals with the excuse that they are reaching retirement.
While most employees might think that discriminatory practices have no end and choose to leave the company in search of alternative employment, there are legal routes for all protected classes. When it comes to employment law, every employee in the United States of America has the right to a healthy workplace that is free of discrimination, harassment, and other toxic behaviors. Instead of abandoning your post and searching for a new job, seeking legal guidance will lend a hand in abolishing toxic workplace practices, which ensures a better work environment for everyone.