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Key signs that you’re being discriminated against at work

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2023 | Employment Law

Under the law, you deserve to receive equal employment opportunities. This means that key employment actions, such as hiring, promoting, disciplining, demoting, and firing, should be based on your performance rather than who you are as a person. Sadly, though, all too often employers, whether intentionally or unintentionally, take action based on personal characteristics and individuals’ status in protected groups, such as race, ethnicity, age, and gender.

But if you’re being treated unfairly in the workplace, how are you to know if you’re being discriminated against? It’s an important question to answer, as you won’t be able to take action against your employer and recover the compensation that you deserve if you can’t demonstrate how the adverse employment decisions that have been taken against you are discriminatory in nature.

Signs that you’re being discriminated against in the workplace

You shouldn’t brush unfair treatment under the rug. Instead, you should be on the lookout for these actionable signs of workplace discrimination:

  • You’re the subject of inappropriate jokes: Your supervisor or others at your place of work may make jokes about your personal characteristics. Some people write these off as nothing more than their co-workers kidding around, but many times those jokes and statements are derogatory and discriminatory in nature. So, make sure that you’re taking note of these interactions.
  • Lack of diversity in positive employment decisions: If you notice that only people of a certain race, age, ethnicity, or gender are hired and promoted with an employer, then that may be an indication of discrimination. This is especially true if there is a diverse pool of more qualified candidates. If you notice this, then you may want to talk to others in the workplace to get their perspective and start keeping notes about what you find out.
  • Unfair performance appraisals: Performance appraisals, while helpful in providing constructive feedback, can also lay the groundwork for discipline and adverse employment actions. Therefore, you’ll want to consider whether your performance appraisals are fair. After all, you may be given a less favorable appraisal because of your inclusion in a protected class.
  • Lack of uniform discipline: If you’ve been disciplined at work, then you’ll want to consider whether that treatment aligns with how others in your workplace are disciplined. If you’re treated more harshly than others who have committed similar violations, then you should ask yourself why that is. It very well may be because of who you are rather than what you’ve done.
  • Inappropriate interview questions: An interview is supposed to be focused on your qualifications and your ability to fulfill the job’s duties and fit in with the office culture. But if the person interviewing you starts asking about religious practices, your intention to get pregnant, or your age, then they’re probably going to use that information to help them make their hiring decision. If you’re passed over because of your status in a protected class, then you’ve been discriminated against.

Don’t allow yourself to be treated unfairly in your place of work

An adverse employment action, such as demotion, reassignment, or termination, can completely upend your life. But you don’t have to let your employer get away with discriminatory practices.

That’s why if you suspect that you’ve been discriminated against, then you should start gathering evidence to help support your claim. An attorney who knows how to navigate employment law may be able to help you do that and ensure that you’re crafting the persuasive legal arguments that you need to position yourself for success.

Therefore, if you’re interested in learning more about how to approach your case, please consider reaching out to one of these legal teams to learn more.