When you go to work, you deserve to be in an environment that is safe and respectful and not a place where you are fearful of discrimination or harassment. Federal and state discrimination statutes protect employees in the United States. These anti-harassment laws apply to race, color, ancestry, gender, age, pregnancy, disability, military status or religion.
There are many instances where discrimination may arise at work. Knowing the common signs of employment discrimination can help you identify a negative and hostile workplace environment.
1. Minimal diversity in the workforce
If you notice that your co-workers are all of the same gender, race, sexual orientation or age, then this is an indicator of discriminatory hiring practices. Minimal workplace diversity can create an environment that fosters workplace discrimination.
2. Consistent promotion denial
If you are consistently overlooked or denied promotions as a hardworking employee who possesses the skills to fill a new role, then you are potentially experiencing workplace discrimination. Another example of discrimination is if the person who gets that same position is less suited or qualified for the job than you.
3. Hostile behavior from others
Hostile workplaces can originate from the behavior of others. You may notice that a supervisor or other employee makes inappropriate jokes that go too far or intentionally harasses you. Repeated hostile behavior that directly relates to personal aspects, such as your race or age for example, is workplace discrimination.
4. Comments about your age or gender
Another potential sign that you are experiencing discrimination at work is if you hear constant references to your age or gender. Discrimination on the basis of either of those protected classes is illegal. Pay attention to recurring comments made to people over 40 and any new policies implemented that disproportionately affect older employees. Also, regardless if you are male or female, you should receive the same treatment and benefits from your employer.