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Posts from Joshua Newville, a Minnesota employment lawyer, civil rights attorney, and mediator.

Common Examples of On-the-Job Discrimination

Every worker deserves to be comfortable and treated fairly in their workplace. When they face harassment or discrimination, it not only is against the law and hurtful for the worker, but it can also affect their job performance. Workers deserve to be treated equally regardless of their race, sex, or age, which is why it’s illegal to discriminate in the workplace. Unfortunately, it still happens.

woman listening to others during a meeting

When you’ve experienced discrimination on the job, you could use the help of a lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected, and you get the justice you deserve. An employment lawyer has the experience needed to represent you against your employer and fight to get you compensation for the discrimination that you endured.

Discrimination in the Workplace

In an ideal world, everyone would be treated equally. Employment law protects workers from enduring discrimination in the workplace. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines workplace discrimination as treating a worker differently or unfavorably for something they can’t control about themselves. It is illegal for workers to be discriminated against for their race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, or genetic information.

But as with many other laws, just because something is illegal, doesn’t mean it doesn’t still happen. Many workers still suffer from discrimination at their workplaces. Here are some of the most common examples of on-the-job discrimination:

  1. Pregnant mothers. When a woman becomes pregnant, her body changes drastically. Not only is there extra weight from the baby to carry around and navigate with, she might also suffer from different ailments that she didn’t before, like gestational diabetes. This can change her ability to perform her job, and she could need modifiers to accommodate these new conditions. Sometimes her workplace refuses to accommodate her even though they are able to, which would mean they were discriminating against her. An employer also can’t refuse to hire, fire, deny benefits, or mistreat an employee any other way just because she is pregnant.

  2. Disabled workers. Similarly to pregnant mothers, disabled workers also often face discrimination in the workplace. Employees with disabilities can experience a hostile or offensive work environment if their employer or fellow employees tease them, harass them, or make comments about them and their disability. While some of this treatment might seem innocent, it can cause distress for the worker, which could lead to adverse reactions in the workplace, like poor performance, or employers terminating the worker. If employers don’t accommodate workers with disabilities, this experience also affect the worker negatively and can keep them from being able to do their job.

  3. Job applicants. Some parts of job applications ask you to disclose information about yourself, like your race, ethnicity, sex, and if you are disabled. These sections aren’t supposed to be used against you in the hiring process and are meant only to be information about you. However, sometimes employers use these demographics to discriminate and not hire a worker based on only this information. Of course, this is illegal. If a worker’s job experience or education does not reach the standards of the job description, then that is a reason not to hire them. If an employer does not hire them for the color of their skin, then that would be discrimination.

  4. Retaliation. Many workers don’t speak up about discrimination in the workplace because they fear retaliation. Even though employers aren’t allowed to retaliate against their workers who bring up problems in the work culture, harassment, or any discrimination they’ve faced, it still happens. Sometimes HR departments will fire a worker for speaking up or demote them. These are illegal actions and would cause a worker to need the help of an employment litigation lawyer.

I Can Represent You in Your Claim

Employers sometimes make mistakes and treat their workers unfairly and unlawfully. When they do this, they need to face the consequences of their actions. As an employee who faced discrimination, you might be hesitant to file a claim because you feel intimidated taking legal action against a company. That’s where I come in.

I understand how difficult it can be to go up against your employer for being treated poorly or unfairly. You shouldn’t have had to endure that treatment and deserve to be compensated for everything you had to go through. I can fight to protect your rights and ensure that your employer is held accountable for their actions. Reach out today.


Joshua Newville is a Minnesota employment lawyer, civil rights attorney, and mediator. Josh litigates and advises on such matters as wrongful termination, whistleblowers, discrimination, police misconduct, and more. He offers paid legal consultations and free online case reviews regarding employment law and civil rights.

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