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Know the signs of workplace discrimination and where to seek help

Whether you're a server in a small California cafe, a teacher in a public school classroom or a member of a team in a busy corporation, you have the right to expect fair treatment in the workplace. Every person, regardless his or her race, religion, ethnicity or gender should be able to report to work, carry out all duties within the normal scope of the position he or she was hired for and collect adequate payment for those duties without worrying about discrimination on the job.

The problem is that unfair treatment linked to some type of discrimination is not always immediately apparent. Perhaps, you return from work each day feeling like something is not right; you feel stressed and suspect that certain work problems are because you are pregnant, or because you're a woman, or due to the fact that your boss found out you subscribed to the tenets of a particular religion. Knowing how to recognize the signs of discriminatory behavior and where to seek support may help resolve problem situations.

Be on the lookout for these red flag signals

Sometimes, there's little to no doubt that workplace discrimination is taking place. Other times, however, wrongful (unlawful) treatment might be occurring in a far more subtle ways. The following list describes several behaviors that should place you on alert and prompt you to investigate a particular situation further:

  • If you work in an environment where there's diversity in gender, age, race, etc., but notice that only one select group (perhaps males between ages 40-60) hold management or other executive positions, it might be a sign of workplace discrimination.
  • Another sign of possible discrimination at work has to do with performance reviews. If you know you are satisfying all job requirements and carrying out your duties with skill and diligence, but continually receive low performance scores, something may not be right.
  • If you are consistently by-passed for promotions and higher-paying opportunities at work, and you suspect it has something to do with your gender, age, religion or ethnic background, you may want to discuss the situation with a workplace discrimination advocate who can help you determine the best course of action.
  • If you recently told your employer you were expecting a baby, and then your employer terminated you, it might just be a coincidence; then again, it might not.

These are not the only signs of possible discrimination in the workplace. The bottom line is that if you feel stressed and suspect someone is exhibiting malicious, unfair treatment against you at work, there are definite steps you can take to rectify the situation. It's important to remember that harassment and discrimination on the job is illegal.

One of the swiftest means for obtaining experienced, skilled assistance to investigate a possible workplace discrimination situation is to discuss the matter with an employment law attorney who is fully prepared to defend your rights and pursue justice on your behalf.

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