20 Examples of Workplace Discrimination & How to Resolve Them
Workplace discrimination can take many forms and negatively impact both employees and the organization as a whole. In this blog post, we will provide 20 detailed examples of workplace discrimination, discuss ways to resolve each issue, and offer guidance on how to respond. Additionally, we will answer some frequently asked questions related to workplace discrimination.
20 Examples of Workplace Discrimination
Workplace discrimination occurs when an employee is treated unfairly based on a protected characteristic, such as race, gender, age, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. Discrimination can manifest itself in various ways, from hiring practices to promotions, and even day-to-day interactions.
Example 1: Racial Discrimination in Hiring
During the hiring process, an employer consistently overlooks qualified candidates from certain racial or ethnic backgrounds in favor of candidates from their preferred racial or ethnic group.
Resolution: Ensure that hiring practices are unbiased and based solely on qualifications, experience, and skills. Provide diversity and inclusion training for recruiters and hiring managers.
Response: If you experience or witness racial discrimination in hiring, report the incident to your HR department or an appropriate authority within your organization.
Example 2: Gender Pay Gap
Female employees are paid less than their male counterparts for the same work, despite having the same experience and qualifications.
Resolution: Conduct regular pay audits to ensure equitable compensation and address any disparities. Implement transparent pay scales and policies.
Response: If you suspect a gender pay gap, discuss your concerns with your HR department or a manager. If necessary, consider legal action or contacting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Example 3: Age Discrimination in Promotions
An employer consistently promotes younger employees over older, more experienced employees based on their age.
Resolution: Implement objective criteria for promotions and ensure all employees have equal opportunities for advancement.
Response: If you experience age discrimination, report the issue to HR or a manager. Seek legal advice if necessary.
Example 4: Disability Discrimination in Accommodations
An employer refuses to make reasonable accommodations for an employee with a disability, hindering their ability to perform their job.
Resolution: Understand and adhere to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Provide necessary accommodations for employees with disabilities.
Response: If you are denied reasonable accommodations, report the incident to HR or a manager. Seek legal advice if necessary.
Example 5: Sexual Orientation Discrimination in Benefits
A company offers benefits to the spouses of heterosexual employees but denies these benefits to the spouses of LGBTQ+ employees.
Resolution: Ensure equal benefits are offered to all employees, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Response: If you experience discrimination based on your sexual orientation, report the issue to HR or a manager. Seek legal advice if necessary.
Example 6: Religious Discrimination in Scheduling
An employer refuses to accommodate an employee’s request for time off to observe religious holidays, despite reasonable notice.
Resolution: Respect employees’ religious beliefs and make reasonable accommodations for religious observances, such as flexible scheduling or offering unpaid leave.
Response: If you experience religious discrimination, report the issue to HR or a manager. Seek legal advice if necessary.
Example 7: Pregnancy Discrimination in Leave Policies
An employer denies a pregnant employee’s request for maternity leave, even though the leave is legally mandated.
Resolution: Ensure compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and any applicable state or local laws. Provide required leave to pregnant employees.
Response: If you experience pregnancy discrimination, report the issue to HR or a manager. Seek legal advice if necessary.
Example 8: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
An employee is subjected to unwanted sexual advances, comments, or behaviors from a coworker or supervisor.
Resolution: Implement a strict anti-harassment policy and provide regular training on appropriate workplace conduct. Encourage employees to report incidents and take all complaints seriously.
Response: If you experience sexual harassment, report the incident to HR or a manager. Seek legal advice if necessary.
Example 9: Retaliation for Reporting Discrimination
An employee is demoted, given unfavorable assignments, or otherwise mistreated after reporting workplace discrimination or harassment.
Resolution: Establish a clear anti-retaliation policy and ensure all employees are aware of their rights. Investigate all retaliation claims promptly and thoroughly.
Response: If you experience retaliation, report the issue to HR or a manager. Seek legal advice if necessary.
Example 10: Discrimination Based on Marital Status
An employer treats employees differently based on their marital status, such as denying promotions to single employees or making inappropriate comments about married employees’ personal lives.
Resolution: Treat all employees fairly, regardless of their marital status. Implement policies that promote a respectful and inclusive work environment.
Response: If you experience discrimination based on marital status, report the issue to HR or a manager. Seek legal advice if necessary.
More Examples of Workplace Discrimination on the next page…