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Photo of Michelle Cohen Levy

4 examples of workplace discrimination 

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2023 | Workplace Discrimination |

Companies are required to make workplaces safe for employees. Not only does this mean that workplaces should not physically endanger employees but that workplaces should be free from discrimination and harassment. Discrimination is the act of treating someone differently for their characteristics.

There are many forms of discrimination. Here are a few examples of how an employee may suffer from discrimination: 

1. Race

There are very old stereotypes that people of different races have genetic or inherited behaviors. For example, it was once believed that African Americans had inherent violent tendencies and that Asian Americans were naturally smarter and successful. These stereotypes have caused some people to face discrimination during the hiring process. 

2. Age

People over 40 years of age have protected rights from discrimination. Ageism may appear in many ways. For example, someone over 40 years of age may be replaced by someone younger because employers believe the new worker is faster at doing work and learning skills. In some unfortunate situations, employees over 40 years of age may even be asked to train their eventual replacement. 

3. Gender

Many people have suffered from discrimination because of their gender. For example, it’s often believed that men should have higher job positions, often in management, while women have lower jobs, such as secretarial work. This often goes back to the outdated notion that men “have families to support” while women only need “supplemental” incomes.

4. Religion

There are thousands of religions and many companies will have a few dozen people who celebrate different religions than others. Someone could suffer from discrimination if they try to practice their religious beliefs and are prevented from doing so.

Discrimination can also target people with disabilities, skin color and nationality. It’s important that employees understand their legal rights if they’re suffering from discrimination in their workplace.