20 Examples of Workplace Discrimination & How to Resolve Them
Example 11: Gender Identity Discrimination
An employer refuses to use an employee’s preferred pronouns or excludes a transgender employee from gender-specific facilities, such as restrooms or locker rooms.
Resolution: Implement policies that respect employees’ gender identity and provide appropriate facilities. Provide training on gender identity and inclusion.
Response: If you experience gender identity discrimination, report the issue to HR or a manager. Seek legal advice if necessary.
Example 12: Racially Biased Performance Evaluations
An employee’s performance is consistently evaluated more harshly than their coworkers’ due to their race or ethnicity.
Resolution: Establish objective performance evaluation criteria and ensure they are applied fairly to all employees. Provide diversity and inclusion training to managers.
Response: If you experience racially biased evaluations, report the issue to HR or a manager. Seek legal advice if necessary.
Example 13: Discrimination in Employee Training Opportunities
Employees from certain protected groups are denied access to training and development opportunities, limiting their potential for advancement.
Resolution: Ensure equal access to training and development opportunities for all employees. Monitor participation to identify and address any disparities.
Response: If you experience discrimination in training opportunities, report the issue to HR or a manager. Seek legal advice if necessary.
Example 14: National Origin Discrimination in Language Policies
An employer implements an English-only policy that disproportionately affects employees of a particular national origin.
Resolution: Ensure language policies are justified by business necessity and do not unfairly target specific groups. Consider offering language classes or resources to support employees.
Response: If you experience national origin discrimination, report the issue to HR or a manager. Seek legal advice if necessary.
Example 15: Discrimination in Dress Code Policies
An employer enforces a dress code that restricts religious clothing, such as headscarves or turbans, without a valid business reason.
Resolution: Revise dress code policies to be inclusive and respectful of employees’ religious beliefs, allowing for reasonable accommodations.
Response: If you experience discrimination in dress code policies, report the issue to HR or a manager. Seek legal advice if necessary.
Example 16: Color Discrimination in Employee Treatment
Employees of a certain skin color are subjected to differential treatment, such as being excluded from social events or being assigned less desirable tasks.
Resolution: Treat all employees fairly, regardless of their skin color. Implement policies that promote a respectful and inclusive work environment.
Response: If you experience color discrimination, report the issue to HR or a manager. Seek legal advice if necessary.
Example 17: Discrimination Based on Genetic Information
An employer uses an employee’s genetic information, such as family medical history, to make employment decisions.
Resolution: Ensure compliance with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) and avoid using genetic information in employment decisions.
Response: If you experience discrimination based on genetic information, report the issue to HR or a manager. Seek legal advice if necessary.
Example 18: Discrimination Against Veterans
An employer treats employees with a military background unfavorably, such as refusing to hire veterans or making derogatory comments about their service.
Resolution: Treat all employees, including veterans, fairly and with respect. Recognize and value the skills and experiences that veterans bring to the workplace.
Response: If you experience discrimination against veterans, report the issue to HR or a manager. Seek legal advice if necessary.
Example 19: Discrimination Based on Caregiver Status
An employer treats employees who have caregiving responsibilities for children, elderly parents, or disabled family members differently, such as denying flexible work arrangements or promotions.
Resolution: Implement policies that support employees with caregiving responsibilities, such as flexible scheduling and family leave options. Treat all employees fairly, regardless of caregiver status.
Response: If you experience discrimination based on caregiver status, report the issue to HR or a manager. Seek legal advice if necessary.
Example 20: Discrimination in Layoffs and Terminations
An employer disproportionately targets employees from a specific protected group during layoffs or terminations.
Resolution: Ensure that layoffs and terminations are based on objective criteria, such as performance or seniority, and do not disproportionately affect any protected group.
Response: If you experience discrimination in layoffs or terminations, report the issue to HR or a manager. Seek legal advice if necessary.
More Examples of Workplace Discrimination are coming soon…
People Also Ask
What are the Protected Characteristics Under Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws?
Federal anti-discrimination laws protect individuals based on the following characteristics: race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, religion, age (40 and older), disability, genetic information, and veteran status.
How Can Employers Prevent Workplace Discrimination?
Employers can prevent workplace discrimination by implementing and enforcing inclusive policies, providing diversity and inclusion training, promoting a culture of respect, addressing complaints promptly, and ensuring compliance with all applicable laws.
What Should I Do If I Experience Workplace Discrimination?
If you experience workplace discrimination, you should report the issue to your HR department or a manager. If necessary, seek legal advice and consider filing a complaint with the EEOC or your state’s equivalent agency.
Workplace discrimination can take many forms, but it’s essential to recognize and address it when it occurs. By understanding these Examples of Workplace Discrimination and how to resolve and respond to each situation, employees and employers alike can work together to create a more inclusive and equitable work environment.