4 Types of Workforce Discrimination 

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Despite it being illegal, workplace discrimination continues to occur far too often. 

If you suffer from discrimination at work, you will feel stressed and anxious. Every day you face work becomes a fearful experience. Your performance will suffer, and your feelings will begin affecting your personal life outside your workplace, which can lead to other issues including health problems and an overall reduction in your quality of life. 

When you are feeling like that each day at work, you can forget about promotions and pay rises, your performance and attitude will not justify them. 

EXAMPLES OF DISCRIMINAITON 

Discrimination can occur at any point in the employment process and includes: 

  • Not getting hired. 
  • Missing promotions. 
  • Receiving inappropriate or rude comments. 
  • Being dismissed solely because of your membership in a protected class. 
  • Being denied specific benefits or compensation. 
  • Being denied parental leave, retirement options or disability leave available to others. 
  • Being overlooked for a job based only on your characteristics. 
  • Preferring a candidate based only on personal characteristics. 
  • Being dismissed based solely on your characteristics. 
  • Rude or inappropriate comments based on your characteristics. 
  • Missing extra and desirable shifts without a valid reason for doing so. 
  • Showing favoritism during restructuring instead of promoting on merit 
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PROTECTED CLASSES OF WORKERS 

The protected classes are based on: 

  • Age 
  • Country of origin 
  • Physical, mental, psychiatric, or intellectual disabilities 
  • Parental responsibilities 
  • Gender identity 
  • Relationship status 
  • Political opinions 
  • Pregnancy or potential pregnancy 
  • Race and/or color 
  • Your religion 
  • Being male or female 
  • Your sexual orientation 
  • Trade union activity 

TYPES OF WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION 

There are 4 main types of workplace discrimination. 

1. Racial 

This relates to the race, skin color, ethnicity, or country of national origin of a worker.  

2. Sex and gender 

This relates to the gender or sexual orientation of a worker, including negative actions because of pregnancy or parental duties.  

3. Age 

Workers aged over 40 become a protected class and cannot be fired, miss a promotion, or be forced into retirement solely because of their age.  

4. Disability 

If a worker has mobility, hearing, visual, or psychological disabilities, they still receive equal pay and be able to work in a non-threatening work environment. 

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HOW TO PROVE WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION? 

If you want to prove you have faced discrimination at work you need to: 

  • Document everything – write down exactly what happened each time you were discriminated against. Do it as soon as possible after it occurred and note the date and time it occurred as well as the date and time you are writing your record. This applies to conversations, emails, and text messages. 
  • Pass the McDonnell-Douglas test, if you can answer “yes” to these four specific questions, your case will proceed based on circumstantial evidence instead of requiring concrete evidence. The questions are: 
  • Do you belong to a protected class?  
  • Were/are you qualified for your position? (Do you have the right qualifications and licences etc.?) 
  • Did your employer take adverse action against you? 
  • Were you replaced by someone not in your protected class? 

You will have a stronger case if you can answer yes to these further questions:  

  • When at work, were you treated differently than someone who was in a comparable situation but not in your protected class? 
  • Did supervisors or managers make derogatory comments aimed directly at you or other members of your protected class? 
  • Do you know of a history of bias towards members of your protected class by your employer? 
  • Do you know of any other members of your protected class that have been affected? 
  • What is the percentage of staff in your protected class compared to other staff? 
  • Do you know of other members of your protected class who have been mistreated by your employer? 
  • Did the treatment you received violate any company policies? 
  • Did your employer keep non-protected workers less qualified than yourself for the same job? 
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Hire a workplace discrimination lawyer 

Not every lawyer specializes in workplace discrimination. Choose someone who can show you earlier positive results.