Everyone wants to work in a place where they’ll be treated with respect. People want to be evaluated based on the results they produce, not on some irrelevant aspect of their personal lives.
Unfortunately, there are times when people experience discrimination in the workplace. But there’s good news.
Laws are in place which make it illegal for employers to discriminate in the following four areas: age, gender, race, and religion. Let’s look at each area in more detail.
4 Types of Discrimination in the Workplace
Age – Age discrimination involves treating an employee or job applicant with less favor because of his or her age. Laws make it illegal to discriminate against a person’s age in employment situations including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, and training.
If you’re interviewing for a position, the interviewer isn’t allowed to ask about your age, date of birth, or the ages of your children.
The interviewer can, however, ask whether or not you’re over 18 years of age.
Gender – Another type of discrimination in the workplace has to do with gender. Gender discrimination occurs when a person is treated differently because of his or her gender. When that treatment adversely affects a person in areas such as position, pay, title, benefits, being hired or fired from a job, advancement, and training, it is illegal.
Race – Workplace discrimination can also happen as it relates to race. Racial discrimination involves treating a job applicant or employee differently because of any of the following characteristics: race, hair texture, skin color, or facial features.
Discrimination can also occur when a person is treated with less favor because he or she is married to a person of a particular race, or when a person is connected to a group that’s generally associated with people of a certain race.
If you’re interviewing for a position, the interviewer can’t ask you questions regarding your national origin, birthplace, ancestry, or parentage.
Similarly, questions regarding the naturalization status of your parents, spouse, and children are also not allowed.
The interviewer can, however, ask you if you’re a U.S. citizen or a resident alien who has the right to work in the United States.
Religion – Religion can also be a discrimination in the workplace as well. Religious discrimination occurs when someone is treated differently because of his or her religious beliefs. This not only includes people who practice organized religions such as Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism, but also others who have personal moral beliefs.
And like racial discrimination, religious discrimination can also occur when a person is treated with less favor because he or she is married to a person of a certain religion.
These are the basics regarding certain areas of discrimination that are illegal. If you are an employer or hiring manager, then you need to be well aware of these types of discrimination in the workplace. Be sure that your questions steer far away from any of these areas if possible. Also, if you work in any human resources capacity at your workplace, you need to become very familiar with these types of discrimination in the workplace. They can take place well after the interview process and you need to be aware of when they are happening in the office.