5 Most Common Kinds of Discrimination in The Workplace


Is this discrimination? Am I being discriminated against?

If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions, then there’s a good chance that you might be experiencing very serious issues that have negative effects on your career progression and your mental health.

According to Mediate.com, employees often respond to workplace discrimination by quitting jobs that they either previously enjoyed, or they can’t financially afford to leave. They also experience deterioration in their physical, mental, and emotional health.

1. Racial

Racial workplace discrimination is obvious. It happens when an employee is singled out for mistreatment due to their race or their ethnic background. Examples of this type of discrimination include firing, not being hired, or being denied promotions and opportunities that could advance the employee’s career path.

The employee might also receive less pay than their other colleagues. And they might also experience intentional comments such as slurs and jokes. Sometimes the comments are unintentional, and these include comments that makes the targeted employee experience discomfort or anger, based on their race or ethnic background.

2. Gender

In previous times, gender discrimination had a narrow, binary definition. An employee would experience discriminatory behaviors such not being hired for a certain job position based on their gender. They would also be subject to sexual harrassment and vulgar humor based on gender. They could also expect to be subject to slurs and negative comments based on gender stereotypes. An example of this would be, “A woman’s place is in the kitchen!”

As society evolved to recognize gender definition in broader terms, employees have experienced gender discrimination as being treated with hostility based upon their non-binary gender identifications. Hostility has also been leveled against employees who have experienced gender transformation. And example of this would include an employee not being able to use the gender-specific restroom that they feel comfortable using.

3. Disability

Despite federal legislation that protects disabled individuals, many employees find that they experience disability discrimination.

Examples include not hiring a potential employee based upon their disability status, not promoting an employee, or singling them out for belittlement. One of the most prominent examples of this type of discrimination includes not providing reasonable accommodations for the disabled employee, even if the employee becomes disabled after they’ve been hired.

4. Ageism

Ageism is the obvious favoritism towards certain employees due to their preferred age range. Converesely, a job applicant can find that they’ll be denied employment because of their mature age. Also, many employees have found that they’ve been “encouraged” to leave their job position because of their age.

Hiring or firing someone because of their age are obvious forms of age discrimination. But other forms of age discrimination include subversive “pushing out” of an employee. This happens when the employee finds that their career path becomes stagnated or blocked from advancement. They’ll also find that they are treated as an inferior member of the organization.

The employee might also experience hostility or stonewalling. They’ll clearly begin to feel that their presence isn’t wanted, and they might even experience overtly unprofessional behaviors that makes continuing to work nearly impossible.

5. Whistle-blowing

Whistle-blowing is a derogatory term that was coined in order to describe employees who reported workplace instances that ranged from grossly unprofessional to criminal activity. The term came about as a result of dysfunctional workplace cultures that encouraged employees to look the other way in the face of wrongdoing.

Those seeking justice reported the wrongdoings, and in most cases, they were professionally punished. Examples of these included barriers to promotions, being excluded from professional functions, professional smear campaigns, and eventually, being fired for unprofessional behaviors that were invented seemingly out of nowhere.

In more severe cases, employees who reported wrongdoing were personally punished by way of harassment, intimidation, stalking, and personal smear campaigns against themselves, their families, and their friends.