Are you a victim of workplace discrimination?
Workplace discrimination is a sad reality that many people are still experiencing today. Unfortunately, most of these individuals don’t even know it is happening.
What is workplace discrimination?
It can be defined as discrimination that happens at the workplace when a job applicant or an employee is unfavorably and unpleasantly treated because of their marital status, religion, race, sex, age, nation of origin, and color. Workplace discrimination can happen to all types of employees, including full-time and part-time employees, apprentices, casual employees, trainees, and probationary employees. While employers must exercise a certain level of authority over their workers, a boundary must be created between abuse and authority.
The two types of workplace discrimination
There are two types of workplace discrimination that we should all watch out for. The first is direct accountability. This occurs when employers directly engage in workplace discrimination and through their own actions, they encourage and promote a culture of discrimination. This can make your work environment very toxic and unpleasant.
The other form of discrimination is second-hand liability. This is when employees discriminate against each other, and the employer or manager knows about it but does not take action to discourage it or put an end to it.
Examples of workplace discrimination
Discrimination can happen to anyone. Below are a few examples of workplace discrimination that could be happening to you:
- Specifying the preferred candidate during job recruitment;
- Blocking individual employees from getting benefits of compensation because of their color, sexual preference, or race;
- Firing or promoting employees based on their sex or race;
- Preventing a group of employees from using company resources;
- Paying employees who are in the same position with the same qualifications different salaries;
- Rejecting an applicant based on their appearance or race without reviewing their credentials.
Laws that protect employees from workplace discrimination
According to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Public Law 88-352), uneven treatment of workers or job candidates based on their superficial characteristics is prohibited. Title 7 of the act guarantees all citizens equal employment opportunities and considers discrimination during promoting, hiring, firing, and other employment elements unlawful if it is based on a person’s religion, race, color, or sex. The act also forbids discrimination in federal-funded organizations and public accommodations, strengthening the enforcement of desegregation in schools and voting rights.
Difference between workplace discrimination and harassment
There is a very thin line between workplace harassment and discrimination. Workplace harassment happens when a worker is forced to tolerate intimidating, offensive, humiliating and threatening actions from someone in the workplace, making it a stressful and toxic environment. Discrimination, on the other hand, occurs when the employee is not getting equal treatment from the employer due to their superficial non-work-related qualities.
Your rights as an employee
Workplace discrimination can result in stress and under-performance, which can sometimes be reflected in the company’s profits. Fortunately, employees today are more protected than they were a few years back, due to the Civil Rights Movement. However, most workers are still suffering in silence. The Washington Post reported that over 82% of workplace discrimination cases go unreported, or the employees don’t get compensation from the at-fault party. Most times, this happens because employees don’t know their rights or decide not to report for fear of retribution from the employer.
All employees are entitled to fair treatment, and workplace discrimination should be fought against. While it’s not easy to draw a line with your employer for fear of retaliation, it’s essential to know when your rights are being violated. If you think you’re experiencing workplace discrimination, hire an experienced attorney to help you file a case. Hiring an attorney will not only ensure that you receive the right compensation for your suffering; it’s also the best way to stop the discrimination culture at your workplace and protect other employees.