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Are you being discriminated against in the workplace?

Relying on your memory will put you at a disadvantage, therefore it is important to record what has happened. By Sophie Jarvis I September 15, 2021

Despite the strict laws prohibiting workplace discrimination, thousands of employees submit complaints to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) each month. Discrimination in the workplace occurs when an employer treats an employee, a group of employees, or an applicant less favorably on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age, disability, or genetic information.

It can be difficult to know whether discrimination is taking place, as the signs are often subtle. With this in mind, it’s important to know the signs, so that any discriminative behavior can be detected and dealt with accordingly.

Signs of discrimination:

1. Minimal diversity: If the staff members in a company are limited to the same gender, race, age, or sexual orientation, then this could be a sign of discrimination. It is prohibited for employers to consider these factors during the hiring process.

2. High turnover rates: When a workplace has a high turnover rate, this could be a sign of discrimination. It is often the case that workers choose to find a new job rather than seek legal advice. However, it is worth noting that employees are not able to retaliate, in any way, against someone who has filed a complaint about discrimination.

3. Lack of promotions: Have you been overlooked for a promotion in favor of a less-qualified candidate? If you find that despite having the expertise and experience necessary for a higher role, you are constantly being overlooked for promotions, then this could be the result of discrimination.

4. Intrusive interview questions: While interviews may sometimes ask questions out of genuine curiosity, perhaps to find common ground, some questions are asked with an ulterior motive in mind. If a prospective employer asks about plans to have children, for example, this could be to ascertain whether they will have to pay maternity/paternity leave if they employ you. While it is not illegal to ask these questions, it is illegal to base the choice to hire or not to hire on any answers given.

5. Inappropriate use of language: Offensive and inappropriate jokes relating to an individual’s gender, race, age, or sexual orientation are forms of discrimination. Additionally, demeaning language which stereotypes an individual or group of individuals is also discriminatory.

6. Unequal pay: It is often the case that employers discourage employees from discussing their pay. However, your right to do so is protected by federal law. If a fellow employee is being paid more than you, despite fulfilling the same role, then this could be a sign of discrimination.

7. Unequal role distribution: Are there more people of a certain gender occupying the managerial roles? If so, this could be a sign of discrimination, especially if the occupation of these particular roles is clearly not based on skills or merit.

In order to file a workplace discrimination claim, an employee must provide sufficient evidence. Relying on your memory will put you at a disadvantage, therefore it is important to record what has happened. Track and Assess can be used to create your own private paper trail. This information is then turned into a report, which can be used to support your claim.

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