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3 subtle signs of workplace discrimination

Society has shown clear and sure signs of what discrimination looks like. Discrimination also has a subtle side that may get overlooked.

According to the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission, it had 73,485 new charges in 2022, 20% more than the previous year. Although not always easy to detect, the following may indicate the time has come to file a complaint.

1. Isolation from meetings and events

From informal to formal events and meetings, they serve as good opportunities for employees to network, gain experience and display skills. If employees at the same professional level get invited to such an event, such as a conference, but a person in their rankings with a different cultural background does not, it may indicate underlying discrimination.

2. Denied training opportunities

Many companies strive to bring employees up through the ranks, ensuring they have reliable, dependable staff they can count on. Instead of having to train new employees, internal training sessions offer an easy way to see who has the qualities to move up. Over time, if these sessions continually have attendees that lack diversity, it may imply the company does not consider inclusion a priority.

3. Overuse of disciplinary measures

While every company has its rules, in theory, those rules should apply to everyone. If one employee commits a small infraction that goes without punishment while another one does the same thing but receives discipline, it may indicate more problems down the road. Building up disciplinary actions, which stay on a record, provides a way to prove that a person should not get a raise or promotion down the road.

In many cases, a person will experience more than just one of the above. When that happens, it may indicate the time has come to seek help.