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Signs of employment discrimination and possible solutions

No matter where you work, all employees deserve fair treatment.

Unfortunately, instances happen in which discrimination can rear its ugly head, creating a hostile and unjust work environment. Recognizing the signs of employment discrimination is crucial, as is seeking ways to address the issue.

Spotting the signs

Discrimination happens more frequently than people would hope. In 2022, the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission received 73,485 discrimination charges. In many cases, discrimination comes in subtle forms. If you have experienced any of the following, you may have a discrimination claim on your hands.

  • Unequal treatment: When the assignments you receive seem consistently less challenging or growth-oriented compared to your colleagues, it is difficult to ignore the feeling of being unfairly singled out due to your background.
  • Promotion puzzles: Watching others climb the career ladder while your efforts go unnoticed creates a disheartening feeling. It is especially upsetting when promotions get handed out seemingly based on factors other than your skills and contributions.
  • Unexplained discipline: Suddenly finding yourself on the receiving end of harsher discipline, despite your performance being on par with your colleagues, can leave you questioning if bias is playing a part.

Other signs that discrimination is happening include microaggressions, pay disparities and isolation.

Pursuing paths to resolution

Amidst the anxiety and frustration, finding the courage to voice your concerns to higher-ups or human resources is difficult but empowering. You have valid experiences, and expressing them can spark change. In some cases, other co-workers may have experienced the same situations. Together, you can amplify your voices and seek solutions.

Along with focusing on self-care, understanding company policies may provide you with the legal recourse needed to create change.