Discrimination in the workplace can have a detrimental effect on workers as well as legal ramifications for employers. Often, discrimination is blatant and direct. For example, someone may have been singled out because of their race, religion, gender, age or other protected characteristic.
However, there are forms of discrimination that can occur less directly and through errors of judgment. Indirect discrimination typically happens when an employer implements a policy that applies equally to everyone but does not impact everyone in the same way. Outlined below are three common examples of indirect discrimination.
Indirect pregnancy discrimination
At times, companies implement policies that require all workers to carry out their duties over full-time hours. As a result, time off requests may be rejected. However, if a request for time off has been put in due to pregnancy, and subsequently rejected, this may amount to indirect discrimination.
Indirect disability discrimination
Occasionally, a corporation may have training programs that require tests to be carried out on specific platforms. For example, a digital multiple-choice questionnaire may need to be completed before career progression can be made. Individuals with certain disabilities could find it difficult to complete such specific tests. Where no accommodations can be made, indirect discrimination could occur.
Indirect religious discrimination
One frequent example of indirect discrimination occurs when an employer demands that all workers work on a certain day or over the weekend. Members of certain religious groups may not be able to do this without sacrificing their way of life. If accommodations cannot be made, then indirect religious discrimination could be present.
Workplace discrimination can show itself in numerous different ways. Often, discrimination is blatant and deliberate, but this is not always the case. As an employee, you have legal rights and if you feel they have been violated there may be options open to you.