It might have been a funny sensation in the pit of your stomach, or maybe it was just the way your supervisor looked at you while responding to your question. You know that — for some superficial reason like race, gender or national origin — your supervisor doesn’t like you.
Signs of on-the-job discrimination
If you think that you’re being discriminated against at your job, here are a few signs that your gut feelings are correct:
1. Stereotypical comments: Does your manager make comments and false assumptions about your race, gender or national origin? This could be a sign of workplace discrimination. No one should have to endure stereotypical comments about their protected status at work.
2. Using your status against you: Have you experienced a supervisor or coworker using your status against you — maybe even trying to win an argument with a comment like “you people always…” or “this is how women always act.”
3. An attitude of superiority: You might feel like someone is constantly taking a superior attitude with you by saying things like, “I didn’t know you could do that…” or “I’m surprised you’d be interested in something like that.” Sometimes, you know that these comments are based on racial, gender, religion or national origin assumptions.
4. Constantly being rebuffed: Perhaps you have made kind overtures to your coworkers but you’re met with a cold, exclusive attitude. There’s no way you can ever seem to break into the “in-crowd.” If that “crowd” is all of one gender, race or religion, maybe you’re being discriminated against and losing opportunities as a result.
5. Overheard comments: You might pass by the water cooler and hear two people making discriminatory comments about you for an extremely superficial reason. This is one way that many people first discover that their workplace is fraught with toxic discrimination.
Fight for your right to a workplace that’s free of discrimination
Powerful state and federal laws protect you from being victimized by workplace discrimination. If you suspect that you’re suffering negative consequences at work because of your protected status — whether it’s race, religion, gender, age or some other status — investigate. Learn as much as you can about protecting yourself from employment discrimination through the strategic application of discrimination laws.