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How to Identify Workplace Discrimination

We all deserve to work in a place where we’re treated with basic human respect and an appreciation of our status as equals. That’s true under both federal and state laws, which provide legal recourse for those who have suffered discrimination on the basis of a protected identifying category.

In spite of this fact, the number of discrimination claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has stayed steady over the last few decades, and even increased as more people become aware of their rights. At Simeone & Miller, LLP, our employment law attorneys can help you with the process of filing a claim when you’ve been exposed to a hostile work environment.

But first, we’ll discuss how you can even begin to identify workplace discrimination, and when it’s a good idea to report your experiences to the EEOC.

Types of Workplace Discrimination

Federal employment laws dictate that your employers and co-workers cannot discriminate against you on the basis of age, sex, race, national origin, religion, color, or physical/mental disability. These categories are referred to as “protected classes,” because most of them are identifying factors that people cannot change, and all may be intrinsic to their personal identities. Additionally, an amendment to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act furthered protections based on sex to include pregnancy, childbirth, and other related medical conditions.

Studies have shown time and again that discrimination on the basis of these categories – whether in the form of abusive comments, threats, or stunted opportunities in the workplace – can lead to a series of mental and physical health problems for the recipients. From physical injury to mental symptoms like post-traumatic stress disorder, victims of discrimination often report continuing trauma long after they have left a hostile work environment behind.

Here are just a few of the most common forms of workplace discrimination:

  • Actively limiting your opportunities for advancement within the company
  • Targeting you with threats, hateful slurs, and violent actions
  • Denying you promotions, raises, and other benefits
  • Enforcing dress codes and other work requirements that do not account for your identity as a member of a protected class
  • Making derogatory verbal or written comments about your differences
  • Failing to consider you as a job candidate due to interviewer bias
  • Treating you unfairly for the same infractions as other employees who are not included in your class
  • Asking inappropriate, invasive, or offensive questions throughout the interview process
  • Retaliating against you for reporting harassment to HR or the EEOC

What Can I Do About Workplace Discrimination?

Because workplace discrimination is so pervasive, it may seem like an easy matter to file a claim when you’ve endured discriminatory behavior. However, it often takes strong evidence and significant legal support to make a successful claim with the EEOC, as companies tend to fight back against these allegations regardless of the truth.

This is where speaking with a skilled employment law attorney right from the beginning can make a huge difference for your claim. By gathering evidence, representing your interests before your employer and the appropriate agencies, and helping you piece together exactly what happened, our experienced lawyers at Simeone & Miller, LLP can increase your chance of getting a positive outcome on your claim.

Do you think you may have experienced workplace discrimination in Washington D.C.? Contact our team at (202) 888-0872 today!