There are times when we might feel disappointment because we didn’t get the job we wanted, if another colleague got chosen for a promotion instead of us or offended that our idea was not taken seriously in a meeting. Although instances like these are simply a fact of life, there can be times when we are treated unfairly and discriminated against. In short, there might be times at work where we are not judged by our merits but instead by an irrelevant factor such as our sex, race or disability.
When decisions are made about us in the workplace that are not based on fairness, such as if we are denied a job because of the color of our skin, this constitutes workplace discrimination. There are several protected characteristics that makes it illegal for an employer or another person in a workplace to make disadvantageous decisions based on those characteristics. These include a person’s age, race, gender, disability whether physical or mental, nationality or pregnancy.
One common example of workplace discrimination is when a pregnant woman claims maternity leave, and as a result is excluded from a fair judgment when it comes to a promotion. Another example might be an employer not even considering hiring a potential employee because he or she has a history of severe depression.
Being a victim to workplace discrimination can be a very disheartening experience, and it is very important to recognize it for what it is. There are many legal protections for those who have been discriminated against, and employers should be aware of what their duties are.
Source: The balance, “Types of employment discrimination,” accessed Oct. 13, 2017