Workplace discrimination is not a new practice, but it is a changing one. Modern workplace discrimination can take new forms that might not look like the discrimination of the past. Changing laws and new technologies can make it more difficult than ever to spot workplace discrimination and harassment. As a worker in 2018, protect yourself by knowing a few of the most common signs and indicators of discrimination in today’s work environments. If you suspect an issue, contact an attorney.
When is the last time you asked about the salaries of other employees in the office? Have you ever asked this question? Although it is against the law for employers to retaliate against employees who ask about others’ wages, most employees still don’t feel comfortable or safe asking these types of questions. Doing so, however, could open your eyes to unfair wage or promotion disparities among employees.
Paying employees at different rates or making promotion/demotion decisions based on a protected class is a sign of discrimination. If you have a feeling that your employer isn’t paying you adequately for your position and qualifications because of your age, race, gender, or disability, you might be the victim of workplace discrimination. Don’t be afraid to ask your coworkers about their salaries to gain some perspective on the situation.
During a job interview, most applicants simply want their best chance at getting the job. They might not report – or even recognize – discriminatory or inappropriate interview questions. While it’s okay for an employer to ask questions regarding the applicant’s ability to perform job-related tasks, it is not okay to ask questions about age, religion, disabilities, or family plans.
Asking a female applicant if she plans on getting pregnant soon, for example, is a discriminatory question. Employees do not have to answer any questions regarding disabilities during an interview. Only once the employer has offered the applicant the job can he or she ask medical questions – and only for the purpose of providing reasonable accommodations.
Ageism is a common issue that arises in workplace discrimination claims, but generally for employers who discriminate against older employees. In 2018, however, some workers are experiencing ageism in the opposite direction – the inability to get a job for being too young. Unfortunately, there are no federal laws to protect workers under the age of 40. This often means younger job applicants and employees have to take the issue up with HR inside the company or talk to a lawyer about other possible options.
An overall feeling of low employee morale or poor workplace culture could point to discrimination or another similar issue in the workplace. Employees who feel discriminated against, under-appreciated, alienated, harassed, or criticized aren’t as likely to be positive or energetic forces at work. A subdued, hostile work environment could be due to favoritism, unfair promotions, and other acts of workplace discrimination. A fair workplace, on the other hand, is more likely to have healthy communication and happy employees.
Looking around your office and seeing employees all or mostly of one type – a certain age, race, or gender – could be a sign of discrimination. This can happen in workplaces with discriminatory bosses, but it can also happen when employers give preference to worker referrals for new hires. Hiring based mostly on referrals could lead to a workplace that lacks diversity, or one that prefers to hire people who will “mesh well” with the existing staff members. In other words, people who fit the workplace’s most prevalent demographic.
Contact a Tampa employment lawyer as soon as you suspect workplace discrimination at your place of work. Whether you sensed it when you read a job description, during a job interview, after your first day at work, or at a job you’ve had for years, get help. Coming forward could result in retribution for your losses as well as repercussions for the discriminatory employer.
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