Discrimination at work can negatively impact job satisfaction and well-being. However, it can be difficult to identify discriminatory actions that affect you at work.
Understanding common forms of workplace discrimination can help you protect your employment rights.
Mistreatment based on nationality, ethnicity or race is racial discrimination. Employers make assignment, pay, promotion or hiring decisions by racial background. They do not consider the person’s abilities.
Individuals may receive unfair treatment based on gender or gender identity. Gender discrimination may include unequal pay or promotion denials. You may also experience a hostile work environment created by gender bias.
Older employees may receive unfavorable treatment due to their age. Examples include wrongful termination and refusal to hire seniors. Age-related stereotypes at work can affect job opportunities and promotions. Federal age discrimination laws protect workers ages 40 and older.
Employers may not exclude job candidates or employees because they have a disability. They must provide reasonable accommodations. These accommodations help employees with disabilities perform their job duties.
Sexual orientation discrimination
This category includes discrimination against LGBTQ+ employees. Employers may not harass, fire or deny promotion because of sexual orientation.
Employers can not treat you differently because of religious beliefs or practices. They must make reasonable accommodations for these beliefs. For example, you may ask your supervisor to allow a morning prayer break. However, accommodations must not cause the company undue hardship.
Your employer cannot fire you, demote you or deny you leave if you are pregnant. It must follow the same medical leave rules as for non-pregnant workers.
Federal law also prohibits retaliation against workers who speak out against discrimination. Your employer cannot punish or harass you for reporting workplace violations like harassment and mistreatment.