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5 Common Signs of Discrimination at Work


You should feel safe when you go to work; however, for many adults, workplace discrimination and harassment is a daily experience. Find out what you need to know about workplace discrimination in this article.

When you go to work, it’s important to feel safe. You should be able to complete your daily tasks and duties without fear of harassment or discrimination. In fact, there are laws in place designed to offer protection for all employees in the United States. Anti-harassment laws dictate that you should not be discriminated against based on gender, race, color, national origin, religion, age, or pregnancy; however, sometimes employees still face discrimination. Are you worried about discrimination at work? Here are five signs you should be aware of.

1.Snide comments about your gender

It’s important to understand that sometimes, your colleagues make ill-timed remarks that are in poor taste. This doesn’t always constitute harassment. When their behavior is a regular occurrence, however, or when it interferes with your work to the point where you can’t complete your duties, this is considered to be harassment.

2. Pressure about your pregnancy

Unless your pregnancy specifically interferes with your ability to work safely or finish your daily tasks, you are not obligated to tell your boss that you are pregnant, nor do you need to offer detailed information about your medical care. If your boss begins to pressure you to take time off from work or begins to give you trouble about your pregnancy, this could fall under pregnancy discrimination.

3. References to your age

In the United States, you cannot be discriminated against based on your age at work. This law specifically applies to individuals over the age of 40. If your workplace is a hostile environment because of your age, your colleagues make constant comments about your age, or your supervisor implements new workplace policies that affect older adults, you could be the victim of age harassment and discrimination.

4. Unequal compensation

One common problem faced by workplace employees is unequal pay or wages. If you and a colleague of the opposite gender have the same years of experience, the same qualifications, and perform the same duties, you should be paid the same or similar wages. If you are not, this is considered unequal pay and is a form of gender discrimination.

5. Different benefits based on your gender

Whether you are male or female, your spouse should receive the same benefits as your colleagues’ spouses. For example, if your male coworker’s spouse receives health insurance through your company, as a female, your spouse should be able to, as well. It’s important that your employer treat each team member the same regardless of their gender and the gender of their spouse. If your employer makes comments such as, “Your husband can get his own health insurance” or “That should be provided through his own job,” you may be facing discrimination based on your gender and marital status.

If you believe you are facing discrimination at work, reach out to an attorney as soon as you can. Talk with them about your experiences and how you can move forward.