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Subtle Signs of Discrimination in the Workplace

Jul 26

Whether or not discrimination is occurring isn’t always obvious. This could leave you questioning if you or other employees are experiencing it. Workplace discrimination, even in subtle forms, is extremely upsetting to experience and can negatively impact a person’s mental health, wellbeing, and career. It’s important to understand that discrimination at work is illegal and should never be tolerated.

If you suspect that you’ve been experiencing discrimination at work, don’t hesitate to contact an employment discrimination lawyer in New York City. Here are a few subtle signs of discrimination in the workplace.

Asking Inappropriate Personal Questions

You expect potential employers to ask questions about you to get to know you better during the interview process. Because of this, you might not think that anything is meant by personal questions other than an attempt to learn more about you. However, some questions go beyond what an employer is allowed to ask and could be considered discriminatory. This includes questions regarding your age, race, family status, and religion. Employers could use information like this to discriminate against you. Questions like these aren’t always malicious, but should not be overlooked.

Lack of Diversity

If you look around a company, you might notice that many employees are all of the same race, gender, age group, or another characteristic. This can sometimes be a sign of a workplace with discriminatory practices, even if they don’t explicitly say who they do and do not accept. Who is in positions of leadership can also be very telling. When leadership is made up of only people in certain classes, excluding others in protected classes, it could be a sign that discrimination is occurring and preventing members of protected classes from rising up in the company.

Gendered Roles and Duties

In the past, people of certain races, genders, and other groups were limited to performing specific jobs. Unfortunately, this still happens today and can affect people of all protected classes. For example, women might be expected to perform secretarial and administrative duties, even if their qualifications are higher than this type of work. Employees who belong to protected classes may be required to perform duties below what they’re qualified for, tasked with work that could be seen as degrading or humiliating, or be given a large or difficult workload beyond their capabilities that can cause them to fail.

Offensive Comments, Jokes, and Other Forms of Communication

Some may have experienced “jokes” or comments pointed at stereotypes of a protected class that they or another coworker belong to while at work. These may try to be passed off as lighthearted humor that wasn’t meant to offend, but this can sometimes be classified as discrimination. Some employees might also notice that the tone their coworkers or supervisors use with them may differ from how they communicate with others. For example, they may frequently speak to workers in protected classes with a hostile or demeaning tone, while others don’t receive this treatment.

Get Help from an Employment Discrimination Lawyer in NYC

Discrimination at work takes a huge toll on employees that no one should have to experience. If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable at work, it’s time to fight for the treatment you deserve. Employment discrimination can be challenging to prove, which is why you need the help of an employment discrimination lawyer in New York City. At Brown Kwon & Lam, we work hard to help you receive justice.

Knowing how to identify discrimination at work isn’t always simple, but even the smallest signs shouldn’t be ignored. Contact Brown Kwon & Lam today if you believe you’ve suffered from employment discrimination.

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