5 Types of Discrimination in the Workplace

The places in which we work can oftentimes be seen as spaces that drive collaboration and productivity. Once all employees get together to meet their goals, there could be a bunch of benefits to be experienced. However, sometimes, not everything will go as expected, as far as kindness and inclusivity goes.

While there is work being done to tackle the issue, discrimination in the workplace is a serious problem. The form of discrimination itself can come about in various ways, all of which are dangerous to the victim. It doesn’t have to be overt as well. some forms of discrimination in the workplace are subtle.

Workplace discrimination can come about in a ton of forms, each of which having longstanding effects. The worker in question may feel physically, mentally, and emotionally attacked. However, there is always help around the corner, should the victim need it. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone, so that the right steps can then be taken!

Here are the most common types of discrimination in the workplace:

Type #1: Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination is one of the most common types of discrimination in the workplace. Discrimination and harassment towards the race of an individual has an unfortunate history. This is even more valid in the context of various work environments throughout our society. Whether it takes the form of purposely excluding someone from a meeting, or overtly harassing them, racial discrimination is abhorrent.

Examples of racial discrimination may include:

  • The personal characteristics of a racialized individual may be exploited to a colleague or employer’s gain.
  • These individuals may use these features as a means of attacking the person, in a derogatory manner.
  • It can be difficult to withstand, but the victim should always speak to someone, when seeking the requisite help and guidance.

If an employee has been dismissed for a non-justifiable reason, they may have some options to pursue. Sometimes, wrongful dismissal can be done for an illegitimate motive, in order to get the employee out of work. In this light, the victim may try to take retaliation, so that they may get their position back.

Should this happen, and the individual is successful, they may continue to be unfairly treated while at work. There may be a feeling of resentment placed towards the employee, as a result of taking retaliatory action. For example, the employer may refuse to promote them to a higher role. It is always best to have legal representation with an employment lawyer, in the event of continued discrimination.

Type #2: Country Discrimination

Many individuals that comprise the demographics of a workplace may come from various backgrounds. For instance, they may have emigrated from another country, in order to make a better life for themselves. The stigma of coming from another nation could, unfortunately, prove to be an issue to some.

Some colleagues or employers may outright deny employment to these individuals, if the country of origin isn’t preferred. This can come in the form of not having fluency in the English language, and instead just possessing functional English. It is subtle in its execution, but this form of discrimination is still rather harmful.

Type #3: Religious Discrimination

Our society, and world at large, is comprised of a diverse set of cultures and religions. In regards to the latter, one’s faith can also be used to discourage them from being in a certain workplace. Some examples have seen those who practice the Islamic faith being denied employment due to their religion.

Or, this type of discrimination can come in the form of a person being treated unfairly while on the job. The remarks they receive can come in the form of microaggressions, in that they are verbally attacked for their faith. There is still a long way to go, in terms of addressing religious discrimination in the workplace.

Type #4: Military Discrimination

Even though it is rather uncommon, an individual could still face harassment due in part to previous military service. While in uniform, a person will actively be taking on their duties as part of service to their country. Once they re-enter society, some workplaces may actively discourage them from getting employment.

Type #5: Sexual Discrimination

One of the most common, if not most prevalent, methods of discrimination comes in the form of sexual harassment. Statistically, women are recipients of this type of harassment on a daily basis, which can come in multiple forms overall. For example, smaller forms of discrimination can arrive in the form of crude remarks about the way they are dressed.

Or, more egregious forms of discrimination can escalate to sexual harassment or even assault. While sexual discrimination can occur to all genders, women face the brunt of the implications. The effects can last not just into the short term, but also into the long term as well. Thankfully, there is help around, in the event that a victim is seeking guidance on how to proceed after!