7 Signs of Workplace Discrimination You Should Look Out For - Barrett & Farahany

Helping employees find justice in eleven states with offices in Illinois, Georgia, and Alabama.

7 Signs of Workplace Discrimination You Should Look Out For

7 Signs of Workplace Discrimination You Should Look Out For

signs of workplace discrimination

When people think of discrimination, they often think of someone being subjected to something overt, like hate symbols, slurs, and hate crimes. These incidents happen far more often than they should, in fact, they shouldn’t happen at all. That being said, the most common forms of discrimination in the workplace can be far more subtle than this. There are things co-workers, employers, managers, and others may do to you that you may not notice or realize is workplace discrimination.

Even if you think you don’t have this issue, or that your co-workers or employers would never do this, understand that workplace discrimination doesn’t have to be intentional. Someone may not even realize they’re being discriminatory as they’re doing it. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be held accountable and you should suffer in silence.

If you’re unsure of what signs of workplace discrimination you should look out for, the attorneys at Barrett & Farahany can help.

Signs of Workplace Discrimination You Might Be Missing

Workplace discrimination can manifest in many ways and can be more subtle than others. If you’ve noticed this at all, consider talking to our employment law attorneys. Here are some signs that someone may be experiencing workplace discrimination:

#1. Unfair Treatment

This is one of the most common signs of workplace discrimination. If you are being held to different standards than others, and you are the only person in the office being treated that way, consider if anyone else is a member of a protected class you’re a part of.

By different standards, this could mean that:

  • You have higher performance standards that you have to meet.
  • You’re expected to stay later than others.
  • You’re expected to arrive to work earlier than others.

You should consider anything else that would seem innocuous if you weren’t the only one being held to this standard.

#2. Derogatory Comments or Jokes

Offensive comments or jokes about your race, religion, sex, age, or other protected characteristics are inappropriate and can be a sign of discrimination. They don’t have to be overtly offensive to be inappropriate. One’s status as a member of a protected class is not relevant in most workplaces.

Remember, saying “it’s just a joke,” does not mean it’s not offensive and not a sign of workplace discrimination. You have every right to report this kind of behavior.

#3. Exclusion

If you are consistently left out of meetings, social business events, or important communications that are relevant to your job, it could be a sign of discrimination.

If your work schedule conflicts with certain types of meetings or events regularly, you should inquire about changing your schedule. If you’re still left out of meetings, or there is a point made to not change your schedule for a reason you can’t quite understand, it may be a sign of discrimination.

#4. Unequal Pay

Paying someone less than others in the same position with similar or more experience and qualifications is a form of discrimination. If you’re unsure of why someone would be paid more than you, consider what protected class you are a part of and if those being paid more are of a different protected class, and if those also being underpaid are of your protected class.

Unequal pay requires more scrutiny depending on what industry you work in and the pay structure of your employer. There are other factors to consider during a consultation with an attorney.

#5. Denied Opportunities

If you are consistently denied promotions, training opportunities, and/or other benefits that are given to other employees with similar qualifications and job performance, it could be a sign of discrimination.

#6. Change in Job Duties Without Justification

If your responsibilities are reduced, drastically increased, or changed in a way that seems abrupt and unnecessary, it could be a sign of discrimination. For example, if there is a department of your place of business that is less savory or something you explicitly were not hired for – such as maintenance – and you are assigned to them at random, it can be a sign of discrimination.

#7. Favoritism

If an employer favors certain employees over others who share characteristics, or lack characteristics of the favored employee, this could be a sign of discrimination. Higher work ethic and performance are not characteristics that could signal a sign of discrimination.

If work records and reports show a level of performance you haven’t seen, bring what you do know to a consultation with our attorneys.

Contact Barrett & Farahany for More Signs of Workplace Discrimination

If you believe you are experiencing workplace discrimination, it’s important to document instances, reach out to human resources, and consult with a legal professional if necessary. The longer you let it go on, the harder it may become for you to fight it, but you should never sit and take undeserved abuse. The emotional and mental toll abuse takes can have permanent consequences on your health. Contact the employment law attorneys at Barrett & Farahany for help.


Talk To An
Attorney Today

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to receive emails as well as text messages from Barrett & Farahany.

Barrett & Farahany

Georgia Office

3344 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 800
Atlanta, GA 30326

Alabama Office

2 20th St N, Suite 900,
Birmingham, AL 35203

Illinois Office

77 W. Wacker Dr. Suite 4500
Chicago, IL 60601


Existing Clients: 866-989-0120

Chat with us!

Do you want to chat?