A workplace should be a safe space for everyone, regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation. Unfortunately, workplace discrimination is still a harsh reality that millions of employees face every day. Discrimination can take on various forms, from pay and promotion disparities to harassment and retaliation. Let’s take a close look at some telltale signs of workplace discrimination that employers and employees alike should be aware of.
Bias in Hiring and Promotion
One of the most common forms of workplace discrimination is bias in hiring and promotion. Discrimination may be at play if you notice that your employer is consistently passing people of a particular race, gender, age, or other characteristic over for job openings or promotions. It’s also essential to be aware of the hiring practices, like job interviews or skill tests, to ensure that hiring managers are evaluating all candidates on an equal basis. Employers cannot legally ask any of their employees about their religion, familial status, disability, or any other question not specifically related to the job during an interview.
Unequal Pay and Benefits
Another sign of possible discrimination is if you notice that your employer is paying people doing the same job differently based on their sex, race, or other protected class. It’s important to note that these differences may be hard to detect, and it is beneficial to have information about comparable salaries. One of the most common ways employers violate the Equal Pay Act is by not paying employees the same for substantially equal jobs. You may be experiencing pay discrimination if you look at similar roles and their salaries and notice you’re not receiving the same pay or being given the same benefits.
Offensive Language or Behavior
Another sign of workplace discrimination is offensive language or behavior directed towards you. This type of language or behavior could include derogatory remarks or jokes based on your gender, race, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. Such language or behavior can make you feel uncomfortable or even threatened in the workplace. Your employer may not take discrimination seriously if you’ve reported this behavior to your employer and they’ve brushed it off. You should speak to an employment lawyer as soon as possible.
Lack of Diversity
The absence of diversity in the workplace usually isn’t a coincidence—it’s a sign of discrimination. A company may discriminate against certain races, genders, and other protected classes if it lacks diversity in its workforce, leadership, customer base, or marketing efforts. A lack of diversity can also lead to workplace tension and biases that can perpetuate discrimination. Ultimately, employers should strive to make their workplace as diverse as possible, as it helps breed new ideas and better business practices.
Limited Advancement Opportunities
One last sign of discrimination is if you find that your employer is limiting your advancement opportunities but not others. Your employer may be arbitrarily overlooking promotions or failing to provide mentorship opportunities, leading to an unfair disadvantage relative to other employees if you’ve been denied promotions and cannot see a clear reason as to why.
By being aware of the signs of discrimination in the workplace and speaking up when you see them, you can create a safer, more inclusive workplace for everyone. Our future workspaces need to look beyond personal biases and become inclusive for all. Reach out to a lawyer and stand your ground if you suspect that your employer is discriminating against you. Everyone deserves equal access to opportunities, footing among colleagues, and the ability to advance their careers based on merits instead of biases.