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Age, race, pregnancy: How we uncover employment discrimination

Employers looking to fill a position are by nature analyzing the candidates they interview. However, analysis should be based on your ability to perform the job functions, valuable assets you possess and can contribute should you grow with the company.

Determining advancement in the interview process ought to be objective and related to the criteria listed on the job posting. A person's candidacy should not be based on their age, race, religion, gender and other factors unrelated to the person's work abilities.

Some tell tale signs of unlawful discrimination

Depending on the job and the amount of applicants, the interview process narrows the pool of hopeful candidates until the best candidate is selected. However, unfair disqualification is a reality that many people experience.

Even after you gain employment, you may suspect that you are pressured to quit, overlooked for advancement or not being treated with equal regard as your co-workers. Look out for the following areas.

Suspicious questions: Employers may be at fault for asking questions that will clue them in on information related to areas where discrimination is prohibited. For example, an employer may ask when you graduated from high school. Oftentimes, this is completely irrelevant to the job you are applying for.

Favoritism and promotions: If you recognize patterns of favoritism coupled with promotions based on characteristics like age and race, this can signify unlawful discrimination. The stronger evidence you document, record and present to a legal team, the better. You might consider asking an employer about the promotion and take note of answers that show bias towards age, race, gender and other fixed traits.

Benefit/compensation denial: Employers who either deny you a position you are qualified for or deny your need for time off due to a pregnancy are potentially liable for a lawsuit. Too often, pregnant employees are viewed as a liability. However, under the law, it is required that employers treat expecting employees as they would anyone else who requires a leave of absence.

Although workplace discrimination does exist, avoid allowing your imagination to runaway with any insecurities or pre-built defenses you may have concerning an area of yourself (age, race, gender identification, etc.). Stay professional while documenting anything that raises a flag of suspicion pertaining to employment discrimination. A legal case against such unlawful behavior can not only help you, but pave a better future for others in that same company.

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