Understanding Employment Discrimination
What is employment discrimination?
Employment discrimination is the unfair, unjust, or less favorable
treatment of a job applicant or employee, because of that individual’s
race, color, sex, religion, national origin or disability.
Types of Discrimination in the Workplace
Employment discrimination can take on various forms, as follows:
Hiring Discrimination: Hiring discrimination occurs when an employer refuses to hire or
consider an applicant because of the applicant’s race, color, sex, religion,
national origin or disability, rather than the applicant’s qualifications and
Race Discrimination: In the workplace, race discrimination occurs when employees are
subjected to negative actions, practices, or policies solely because of
their race or ethnic background. Race discrimination can manifest in
various ways, both overt and subtle, and can happen in different
Examples of race discrimination in the workplace include:
Hiring Bias: When an employer refuses to hire or considers race as
a determining factor in making employment decisions, such as
recruitment or selection.
Promotion Bias: When employees of a particular race are denied
opportunities for advancement or promotion compared to equally
qualified individuals of other races.
Unequal Pay: When employees of a specific race are paid less than
their counterparts performing the same job with similar
qualifications and experience.
Racial Harassment: When an employee is subjected to racial slurs,
derogatory comments, offensive jokes, or other forms of racially-
based harassment in the workplace.
Retaliation: When an employer takes adverse actions against an
employee who complains about or opposes race discrimination in
Unequal Treatment: When an employer enforces policies or
practices that disproportionately disadvantage employees of a
particular race, such as denying training opportunities, assigning
less favorable shifts, or providing inferior working conditions.
Religious Discrimination: Religious discrimination is the adverse or unfair treatment of employees by the employer because of the employee’s religious beliefs and
practices. Companies are required to make reasonable accommodations
for employees who need time, space, or other amenities to observe their
Wage Discrimination: Wage discrimination occurs when an employer pays or compensates employees differently for performing the same job, on account of the
employee’s protected characteristics, such as gender or race.
Wrongful Termination: When an employee is unjustly fired or terminated based on their
protected characteristics, rather than their job performance.
By understanding the various forms of employment discrimination, both employers and employees can take proactive measures to prevent and address these issues, fostering a fair and inclusive work environment.