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Understanding Employment Discrimination

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

the workplace.

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

religious practices.

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.

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