You know that discrimination should not be happening at work, but sometimes it can be hard to tell if what you are experiencing is really discrimination or something else. So how can you tell if it is discrimination or not? Here are some signs that you are being discriminated against.
Possible Signs of Discrimination at Work
There are many possible signs of discrimination in the workplace, and sometimes these can be very subtle. Discrimination is when you are treated differently or unfairly on the basis of a protected characteristic that is included in the Equality Act 2010, such as your sex, race, religion or age.
For example, you may hear comments that you find upsetting, but when you make it clear that you were offended, you may be told that you are being too sensitive and that it was just a joke.
You may receive negative comments about your racial group, or other employees may laugh at your accent. You may be stereotyped unfairly, or you may receive comments about the food you eat, putting you in a position where you feel you have to defend yourself.
You may be a female who is paid less than other male employees, or someone else may be promoted over you when you are clearly the better candidate. You might not be included in meetings or activities, or you may be given difficult tasks on a regular basis.
However, you could also be discriminated against because of people you know, which is called direct discrimination by association, or because other people think you are someone that you are not, which is called direct discrimination by perception.
In addition, you could face indirect discrimination. This is when there is a rule for everyone in the workplace that places you at a disadvantage because of who you are. If everyone has to work on Sundays but you cannot due to your religious beliefs, this is an example of indirect discrimination.
What to Do if You Think You Face Discrimination
As you can see, discrimination is a complex issue. Sometimes you may feel like you are being discriminated against when you are not, but other times you may find you have a case and you are being treated unlawfully.
You do not have to put up with discrimination, and you do not have to quit your job and find a new one to escape it.
The first thing you may want to do is talk to someone you trust outside of work. Share your concerns and find out whether they think you are being reasonable.
If you still have doubts, the only way to be sure is to contact a lawyer specialising in discrimination at work. They will tell you whether you have a case, and they will provide you with proper legal advice about what you should do. This may include documenting everything and writing down incidents that you face.
Know When You Face Discrimination
One thing you should not do is simply put up with discrimination at work. Even if you decide that legal action is not the solution, you do not have to put up with it. You may simply decide to inform your boss about the situation and go down this route instead.
But whatever you decide, know that discrimination has no place at work, so look out for the signs and dont assume that you are simply being overly sensitive if you are offended by anything that affects you at work.
Isaac Knowles has been a legal assistant for 12 years. Discrimination is a topic close to his heart and one which he fights. Through his writing he reaches a wide online audience with topics that are close to his heart both professionally and emotionally.