Have you ever been in a situation at work where you felt like you were unfairly treated due to factors outside of your control? Most notably, comments or actions because of your race, age, skin color, gender, disability or national origin. If this happened to you, then you may have been a victim of employment discrimination.
Employment discrimination can be tricky to pinpoint. If you were late to work one day and was verbally accosted for this action, but others have done it without these consequences, then your co-worker may be discriminating against you. Sometimes discrimination is not easy to detect. Familiarize yourself with some common signs of discrimination so you are ready to protect your rights.
The signs of discrimination
As an employee, you are protected from discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act. Though you are protected, are you aware of everything you are protected from? Here are the signs of discrimination you may encounter at work that could indicate that you could be a victim of discrimination.
- Inappropriate jokes – Most people want their workplace to be a fun and easy-going place where they get along with their co-workers. This means people will tell jokes to lighten the mood. However, some people may tell jokes based on gender, age or race that they think are funny, but are hurtful. If you see a pattern of the same type of jokes being told, it may be a warning sign of discrimination.
- Lack of diversity in the company – If you notice that the same type of people are constantly being hired and certain groups or genders of people are being passed over, there may be a culture of discrimination.
- Positions or roles stay the same – When you see a certain type of person consistently being hired to do a job within the company, it may mean that your employer does not believe others can adequately complete the work. This can easily transfer to other parts of the company where there can be a feeling that only a certain gender or race can perform a particular job.
- Overlooked for a promotion – If you have been working at the company for some time and have seen several other employees move up the chain faster than you, this could be a sign of discrimination. This type of discrimination can significantly impact your financial well-being if you miss out of salary increases and career opportunities.
- Poor review – Did you receive a poor review when you believed you were going to receive excellent marks on your performance? Discrimination can come in the form of people taking other factors into account other than the quality of your work.
- Suspect interview questions – You may be able to pinpoint discrimination before you are even hired. If you receive questions about starting a family or when you want to retire, this can be a pre-cursor to an environment of discrimination. It is illegal to ask these questions and can show that other factors besides your ability to do the job are carefully watched by the employer.
If you believe that situations on the job have left you as a victim of discrimination, you should contact an employment law attorney as soon as possible. By getting an expert opinion, you can discuss the details of what you experienced and decide if legal action is warranted.