Workplace discrimination takes many forms. Maybe you didn't get hired because of your gender, unable to break into a workplace dominated by the opposite sex. Maybe you got to an interview, but you knew your race meant you never really had a shot. Perhaps you got passed over for promotions that you deserved. Maybe you faced harassment from co-workers and supervisors over things like age or sexual orientation.
The key, no matter what you're facing, is to understand that the law is there to protect you. Discrimination is illegal in the United States, as it has been for decades.
That does not mean, of course, that discrimination does not happen. Here are the percentages of different types of discrimination cases according to a recent report:
- Color discrimination: 3.8%
- Religious discrimination: 4.1%
- Discrimination based on national origin: 9.8%
- Age discrimination: 21.8%
- Gender or sex discrimination: 30.4%
- Discrimination based on disability: 31.9%
- Racial discrimination: 33.9%
- Retaliation by an employer: 48.8%
As you can imagine, you may get some cases that overlap. For instance, if you're a Muslim worker from the Middle East who is working in New Jersey, is the discrimination you face based on your color, race, national origin or religion? All of them could be a factor, and it may be hard to tell exactly why it is happening to you.
Again, though, you must know that discrimination on any of these grounds is illegal. Employers must be held to a higher standard and they must give all employees an equal opportunity. If you feel like that's not what you got, make sure you know what steps to take.