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Signs of Workplace Discrimination

Most employees perceive workplace discrimination as a direct act against them due to their gender, race, ethnicity, and other factors. However, the signs of discrimination aren’t always obvious. There may be subtle hints your company is engaging in discriminatory practices. These are some of the many signs it may be occurring.

Inappropriate Questions or Remarks at Interviews

Discrimination can occur before you are even hired. If an interviewer asks about your gender identity, age, or race, or makes statements that suggest a hiring decision would be influenced by these, it is a red flag for discrimination. Be alert for questions about, for example, likability, if you’re a woman interviewing for a job in a male-dominated company or industry. Comments about gender roles or stereotypes are inappropriate as well.

Lack of Diversity

If most people in a certain department or role are the same gender, race, or a similar age bracket, discrimination in the hiring process may be the reason. An example is if all secretaries are women and males are assigned to most, if not all, non-administrative roles. Your workplace may be a discriminatory environment if individuals with disabilities aren’t properly accommodated.

Fixed Roles and Assignments

Any worker who is the target of discrimination in the workplace will have a lesser role or be assigned less significant tasks. A certain group of people may be managers or supervisors while another may be hired to work for them. Employees are often unhappy in such environments, and a strong sign of this is a high turnover rate.

Harsh Communication

Offensive jokes and comments regarding protected classes are an obvious sign of workplace discrimination. Another indicator is the tone in which a superior speaks to you. If your manager constantly speaks in a harsh, demeaning, or belittling tone but treats others more fairly, their behavior can be considered a form of discrimination.

Changes in Workload

Managers all too often use discriminatory methods such as taking away an employee’s responsibilities or assigning tasks they know are impossible to complete. These strategies may be used to create a reason for termination. Workplace exclusion is a practice of excluding workers an employer dislikes or wrongly believes they can’t perform certain tasks.

Unequal Pay

Federal law protects your right to openly discuss salary with coworkers, although many employers discourage it. Knowing what others make can help determine if a company engages in pay discrimination. This is especially true if employees with the same roles are paid differently for the same work.

Denial of Promotion

Employees who work hard and have the right skills and experience, yet feel overlooked and under appreciated, are often the victims of discrimination. A strong sign is if the position you’re denied for is offered to someone who is less qualified. These unfair promotions are indicators of workplace discrimination.

Preferential Treatment

Playing favorites is unfair and a sign of discrimination. If an employer assigns certain groups to better job positions, offers them additional benefits and perks, or larger offices, they may be giving them preferential treatment.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment may involve inappropriate touching or comments. It can also take a quid-pro-quo form in which workplace benefits are offered in exchange for intimate contact. It’s illegal to threaten a cut in pay or deny a promotion for refusing sex or to accept an invitation to dinner.

Contact Lawyers for Justice

These are not the only signs of workplace discrimination. If you feel your employer is engaging in any form of discriminatory behavior, our Glendale employment attorneys at Lawyers for Justice, PC will fight for your rights. Call 818-647-9323 today for a free consultation.

The best way to combat workplace discrimination and avoid retaliation is to let an employment lawyer fight on behalf of the discriminated employee. The discrimination attorney team at Lawyers for Justice, PC are a powerful force that fights for those who cannot fight for themselves. Best of all, the firm does not charge any up-front fees; victims of workplace discrimination only pay if they win their case.


Attorney advertisement by Edwin Aiwazian of Lawyers For Justice, PC, headquartered at 410 Arden Avenue, Glendale, CA 91203