4 Types of Workplace Discrimination

The workplace should be a source of positivity and productivity, where everyone coexists and shares the same goals. However, some forms of workplace discrimination exist, and none of them are more or less worse than the other. Whether you’re an employer or an employee, you need dependable legal protection by your side if you’ve experienced any sort of workplace discrimination. Top legal experts fight discrimination against employers and prevent any similar situation from happening again.

Discrimination is Against the law, but a lot of it still happens. Below are the most common types of reported workplace discrimination and how to spot them.

Gender discrimination

Gender discrimination is rampant in the workforce. No matter the line of work, women are discriminated against by not being paid as much as their male co-workers and not promoted to any leadership roles. They’re scrutinized simply because of what they wear, while male employees are not given so much trouble about their clothes. Women with strong personalities are ostracized by both their male employers and co-workers as being too “aggressive,” “loud,” or “persistent.”

While these character traits can be undesirable in some situations, you don’t nearly see men being admonished for being aggressive or persistent. In contrast, these traits are encouraged in men but are called under more positive words, such as being a “go-getter.”

Race discrimination

Racial discrimination is so common that most slurs and insults have been normalized in everyday language, even used by children and people who don’t know any better. It’s even worse when it crosses over to the workforce. Employers can go out of their way to avoid hiring any person of color, even if they pass all the requirements. Even if they were employed, it’s more difficult for them to be mentored or promoted. It’s also relatively easy for them to get wrongfully terminated.

Racial minorities are also subjected to scrutiny. Some departments choose to be more lenient with some employees but use any excuse to punish or ostracize an employee from a racial minority. That’s not to mention the discrimination they get from everyday interactions with their co-workers.

Disability discrimination

A disability is any form of physical or mental impairment that substantially limits them in performing minor and significant everyday tasks. The American Disability Act (ADA) covers employees with disabilities and employees with a history of impairment.

However, the ADA protects only qualified workers with disabilities, which means workers with a disability that doesn’t impair them from performing the job’s essential duties, with or without reasonable accommodation by the employer. Regardless, workplaces that hire people with disabilities should be prepared to accommodate their disabilities and adjust when needed.

Some workplace policies are made without thinking of employees that have any disability. An employer should provide reasonable accommodation to employees with physical or mental disabilities that would allow them to perform the job duties, but some do not. For example, they refuse to provide a closer parking spot for an employee with impaired mobility or harass and bully someone with a mental impairment.

Other forms of disability discrimination can take the form of making unfair preliminary assumptions about someone’s capability of doing their job because of their disability, being hostile to the person, or making no-fault attendance policies.

Sexual orientation discrimination

When an employee is subjected to harassment, denial of specific benefits, and negative employment actions because of their sexual orientation, this counts as discriminatory. People who don’t identify as heterosexual encounter several small micro-aggressions in the workplace. Sometimes, merely placing a picture of their same-sex partner on their desk can garner an excessive number of adverse reactions.

Employers are encouraged to conduct orientations with all their employees to educate them and increase social awareness about these matters. Discrimination based on sexual orientation is often linked to harassment and sexual assault, so the workplace should take all the steps necessary to prevent these from happening.


Hostile work environments that encourage any form of discrimination are illegal. Many of these forms of workplace discrimination overlap and can cause an even more harrowing experience for the victim. They hurt the workplace both ways, on the part of both employer and employee. To encourage a more compassionate and accepting work environment, employers should stay on top of safety measures against any type of behavior that may count as discriminatory.

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