Discrimination happens in many different ways in the workplace. In general, it is not the actions that take place that are inherently wrong, for example, firing or demoting an employee, but it is the reasons for the actions that took place that can be considered illegal.
Employment discrimination is the act of treating an employee unfavorably purely because of a characteristic such as the color of his or her skin, race, religion or nationality. This protection extends to other characteristics such as whether they are pregnant or disabled.
What are some examples of employment discrimination?
One common example of employment discrimination is when employees are denied the benefits or promotion that they applied for purely because of their age, race, nationality or gender.
Discrimination would also be to blame if two people that were working in the same role that are achieving the same results were being paid differing salaries.
Employment discrimination does not only occur during employment. The protections in place can also be used to the advantage of job applicants. For example, if a person feels that he or she was qualified for the role but not even considered, and he or she believes that this is because of one of his or her characteristics, then he or she may have a case. In a similar way, if anything was communicated in an interview that was discriminatory, employment law will still apply.
It can be difficult to know for sure whether you have been discriminated against at work. Therefore, you should make sure to consider your situation carefully, and apply the law to your case before taking action for your rights.
Source: The Balance, "Types of Workplace Discrimination With Examples," accessed Feb. 15, 2018