What Constitutes Discrimination At The Workplace?

Posted on: 7 January 2018

Discrimination is a touchy subject, not just because it exists, but because it can be so subtle and counter to some of the worst examples of discrimination in recent history. In the United States, discrimination for those in privileged positions may mean blatant rejection based on ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or belief. In recent years, the concept of microaggressions has gained traction to mixed results depending on the assumed final result of the aggression.

In legal matters, discrimination cases are more nuanced, but the point remains simple: if your career was affected significantly by workplace discrimination, you need an employment lawyer to help you make the case. Here are a few employment discrimination scenarios to help you understand not only why you have a case, but why people who may not consider themselves bigoted are confused about your claim.

The Effects Of Discrimination Can Be Subtle

Aside from blatant bigotry and making bold statements to discriminate against someone, many forms of bigotry can take a while to manifest as something harmful--or in employment context, damaging to your income and ability to be promoted.

What many people do not understand is that even a few jokes about discrimination issues such as a woman's place in life, the habits of specific ethnic groups, or some else's sexuality can have a domino effect. What may seem like a few small jokes around the office can affect a supervisor or manager's opinion.

They may understand the joke and consciously recognize the jokes as nothing serious, but those kinds of remarks can make a person less serious about the victim's business prospects. Not all leaders can truly divide their opinion and make decisions based on workplace merit alone.

Denial And Cryptic Discrimination Is The Current Normal

Many people are under the incorrect assumption that any form of discrimination will be obvious and easy to see, and therefore reject any discrimination claims that aren't obvious as a conspiracy.

This problem is compounded by the unfortunate fact that there is such a thing as hypersensitivity towards an issue. There are times when a person may be looking for offense for whatever reason, and that can validate the opinions of people who dismiss discrimination claims. Unfortunately, the existence of hypersensitive opinion does not mean that discrimination doesn't happen.

For any form of discrimination, the burden is on the victim to create a well-established pattern of discrimination. At the most basic level, it comes down to documenting exactly what you've done for the company, how you've performed at a proper level--or at a higher level--without being rewarded, and most importantly how others who aren't part of your discrimination issue are treated better.

This is an unfortunate and stressful situation of proving yourself that shouldn't be validated by others, but it's temporary. The point isn't just to overcome the odds and keep your chin up, but to create a paper trail showing that people like you are held to a different standard than others in the workplace. It's not fair to you or others like you, and in the United States, anything that unfairly affects your economic power is life threatening and cause for legal action.

Contact legal offices like the Law Offices of Terry K. Davis to discuss how to gather the right information and make a positive change for you and your workplace.