About 32% of workers do not report the discrimination they experience because they aren’t sure that it is a big deal. This is unfortunate because no one should experience any level of discrimination. Our team of experienced discrimination lawyers at Goodin Abernathy understand that workplace discrimination comes in many forms. These are some of the things that can happen to you if you’re being discriminated against.
1. Lack of Employee Diversity
One easily recognizable sign that discrimination might be taking place is a noticeable lack of diversity within the company. If everyone on the team is the same race, gender, age range, ethnicity, religion, and socio-economic class, then there is a lack of diversity. This can result in groupthink and a lack of acceptance of anyone who does not fit the mold. However, the discrimination taking place can be subtle. It could be intentional or unintentional.
2. Payscale Inequality
You have probably had an employer prohibit employees from talking about their salaries. However, you have a federally protected right to speak about the details of your salary with your coworkers. One reason employers attempt to prevent this type of discussion is that it can easily reveal discrimination. For example, if employees in the same position with the same experience and work quality have vastly different salaries, this could be a sign of discrimination. Speaking with a knowledgeable discrimination lawyer can help you identify discrimination through pay inequality.
3. Promotions Not Based on Merit
Promotions, pay raises, and layoffs should be done based on merit and work product quality. Employers should consider an employee’s performance in their role, not their gender, age, race, or religion. Look for a pattern in the decision-making of promotions, raises, and layoffs. This could be that only certain gender or race employees get promoted. Or employees of a particular age or religion are the only ones that get laid off. Another more subtle sign of this type of behavior is a manager that doesn’t do performance reviews or ask for input from other employees and managers.
4. Exclusion From Informal Networking
In every industry, a certain amount of socialization and networking takes place. This informal networking helps employees stay informed, progress in their careers, and develop social capital. When people with a specific category are excluded from informal socialization, it could be a sign of discrimination. This type of discrimination can be difficult to prove. Speaking with an experienced employment lawyer can help you determine if discrimination occurred and how to establish evidentiary proof if it did.
5. Personal Criticizing or Micromanagement
Some managers have a critical nature or a micromanagement leadership style. This is not automatically discrimination if they treat everyone this way. However, if they target a single person with overly critical communication or aggressive micromanagement, this could be discrimination. Signs of this could be a refusal to acknowledge a job well done, excessive criticism, or speaking in a derogatory tone.
6. History of Employee Lawsuits
Often, an employee feels alone in their discrimination experience. However, this isn’t always the truth of the situation. Speaking with an experienced workplace discrimination lawyer can give you insight into your company’s history with discrimination. For example, you may find that the company has a history of lawsuits and EEOC complaints. This can be a sign that discrimination is widespread throughout the company and makes it likely that the treatment you are experiencing is discrimination.
7. Unfair Disciplinary Action
Some discrimination provides certain employees more benefits than others. However, discrimination can also mean that some employees experience more negative treatment than others. If there are unfair disciplinary actions, this could be a sign of discrimination. A company should have a manual that outlines expected behavior and the consequences when not adhered to. The company then needs to follow these policies when disciplining employees. Discrimination happens when there is no employee manual, or the manual is ignored. Managers could give unjust criticism, harsher punishments, or more aggressive termination practices. Sometimes managers do these unintentionally. Others use these practices intentionally to build a case for the termination of the discriminated employee.
8. Duty Assignment Based on Gender
A subtle sign of discrimination is workplace roles assigned based on gender. This happens when people allow themselves to fall into the rut of traditionally gendered roles. Discrimination of this type can be more subtle. For example, the company could have a diverse employee profile. However, the women are the ones responsible for the management of the break room and secretarial roles. While the men in the same position are not expected to do these things or are more quickly promoted to a managerial or executive role.
How Your Employer Accountable
No one should have to experience or accept discriminatory treatment while at work. However, if you notice these actions or treatment at your place of employment, then your employer may be discriminating. Whether intentional or not, the experienced lawyers at Goodin Abernathy can help you hold your employer accountable for their actions.
Contact our team of caring lawyers to talk about your work experience and possible discrimination lawsuit.