Common Types Of Workplace Discrimination And What To Do If It Happens To You

Workplace discrimination is unfortunately still prevalent in many organizations, despite laws in place to protect employees. Understanding the common types of workplace discrimination can help you identify if you are being mistreated. In this blog post, we will explore some typical forms of workplace discrimination and provide guidance on how to address them.

Common Types Of Workplace Discrimination

Unfair Treatment

One of the most common forms of workplace discrimination is unfair treatment based on characteristics such as race, gender, age, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. This can manifest in being passed over for promotions, receiving lower pay than your colleagues for the same work, or being subjected to verbal harassment or exclusion.


Microaggressions are subtle, often unintentional, discriminatory actions or comments that communicate negative attitudes toward marginalized groups. These can include offhand remarks, stereotypes, or behaviors that belittle or demean individuals based on their identity.


Retaliation occurs when an employer takes adverse action against an employee for engaging in protected activities, such as filing a complaint about discrimination or harassment. This can take the form of demotion, reassignment to less desirable tasks, or termination.

Hostile Work Environment

A hostile work environment is created when offensive behavior, comments, or actions based on protected characteristics make it difficult or impossible for an employee to perform their job effectively. This can include pervasive harassment, intimidation, or bullying by coworkers or supervisors.

What To Do If You Experience Workplace Discrimination

Document Everything

Keep detailed records of any discriminatory incidents. Include information like dates, times, witnesses, and outcomes. Documentation will be crucial if you decide to file a complaint or pursue legal action.

Report The Discrimination

Follow your company's policies for reporting discrimination by filing a formal complaint with HR or a designated supervisor. Be sure to follow up on the status of your complaint and document any responses you receive.

Seek Legal Advice

If internal channels do not resolve the issue or if you face retaliation for speaking up, consider consulting an employment law attorney. They can advise you on your rights and options for pursuing legal action against your employer.

Know Your Rights

Familiarize yourself with local employment laws and regulations that protect against workplace discrimination. Understanding your rights can empower you to advocate for yourself effectively.

Workplace discrimination is a serious issue that can have lasting effects on an employee's well-being and career advancement. By recognizing common occurrences of discrimination and taking proactive steps to address them, you can protect yourself and promote a more inclusive work environment for all employees. Contact a law firm like John Franco Law to learn more.