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Do you believe you are being discriminated against at work?

It can take some people years to land the job of their dreams. When you achieved your goal and felt that you were hired to the perfect position, you likely could not have been more excited. Unfortunately, as the weeks passed, you may have begun noticing that your employer or co-workers did not treat you fairly.

At first, you may not have thought too much about the manner in which they treated you. Deciding to keep your head down and focus on your work, you tried not to let their negative comments, belittling actions or other behavior get to you. However, as it persisted, you could no longer ignore it.

Are you facing discrimination?

Perhaps the mistreatment started out as someone calling you a name or making an inappropriate joke at your expense. If so, you may have found it easy to ignore someone's rude remark and move on, especially if it came from your boss and you did not want to ruffle any feathers. However, when your boss passed you over for a promotion, denied you employee benefits that others received, or did not give you the same opportunities as other workers, you knew that the problem was too serious to let go.

Protected characteristics

In some cases, unfair treatment does not necessarily constitute workplace discrimination. If you believe that you are being mistreated because of one or more of the following characteristics protected under federal law, your employer may be discriminating against you:

  • Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Gender
  • Disability
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • National origin
  • Skin color
  • Genetic information

You also should not receive unfair treatment because of your relationship or other association with another person who suffers from discrimination. If you suspect that your mistreatment stems from nothing more than one of these characteristics, you may need to take serious action.

What can you do?

You may want to first address your concerns by looking over your employee handbook if one is available. Hopefully, it will contain information on how to file a complaint regarding workplace discrimination. If after following those steps the mistreatment continues or is not appropriately addressed, you may want to look outside your place of employment for help.

Employment discrimination is illegal, and if you believe your employer is not taking steps to address your concerns, you may want to reach out to a California employment law attorney for help and information.

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