Discrimination: 3 examples of discrimination in the workplace

Discrimination is difficult to deal with, especially when you're on the receiving end. You may not know what to say or feel that you're unable to say anything for fear of retaliation.

While this may be your reality now, the truth is that it doesn't have to stay that way. Employers are not able to discriminate in any way against their employees or face serious repercussions. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC, protects several classes of people against discrimination. Some types of discrimination that are outlawed include:

  • Age discrimination
  • Pregnancy discrimination
  • Discrimination based on race
  • Religious discrimination
  • Discrimination based on skin color
  • Gender discrimination

In addition to protecting people against discrimination, the EEOC also protects people against retaliation for reporting discrimination in the workplace.

What are some examples of discrimination in a work environment?

There are many examples of discrimination on the job. Here are three that you might run into in a typical day in Phoenix.

1. Gender discrimination

Bob is an employer. He has one employee, Jenny, whom he finds to be a good worker. He has another employee, Ryan, who is also a good worker. Jenny has been with the company longer and has a better record, but Bob gives Ryan the position as his "leading man," which is the nickname the position has always had. This suggests, potentially honestly, that Bob will only promote men.

2. Pregnancy discrimination

Rachel goes to work after being there for several years and informs her employer that she's pregnant. She just had a review that was perfect, and she's never had trouble on the job. Suddenly, just a few days after informing her employer of her pregnancy, she's let go from her position with no obvious cause. A coworker admits they overheard the boss suggest that people who want to get pregnant shouldn't work there, because they're too busy.

3. Religious/Ethnic discrimination

Raoul is Muslim and wears a turban-style headdress. His employer requires no headwear indoors, suggesting that Raoul may not continue to work at the company if he won't abide by that decision. There are no safety reasons for the turban-style headwear to be removed on the job.

In each of these cases, the workers face discrimination when they shouldn't. If this happens to you, you also have protections offered to you by the EEOC and can pursue a claim against your employer for violating your rights in the workplace.

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