Unfair treatment and discrimination are more common in the workplace than many of us would like to think. As progressive as the modern-day is, there are still employers and employees who discriminate against certain groups of people.
Treating somebody differently because of a protected characteristic can be labeled as discrimination. For example, treating them differently because of their gender identity, age, ethnicity, religion, or sexuality is unfair and discriminatory.
Despite discrimination being a clear violation of employment laws, employees often find it difficult to speak up when they are a victim of discrimination. It can be intimidating speaking out against your employer or a colleague that you work with every day.
However, it is important to raise your concerns if you are being treated unfairly. Not only does being a victim of discrimination make you feel uncomfortable, but it is also against the law.
By law, your employer cannot treat you differently or terminate your contract based on protected characteristics. The same applies to employees and other members of the business.
Here are some of the common causes of unfair treatment and discrimination in the workplace.
Some employers can see pregnancy and its associated discomforts and symptoms as an inconvenience. When one of their employees gets pregnant, they might think that this employee is less useful or unable to complete their work to the same level of competency.
There is also the added issue of maternity leave. While maternity and paternity leave is available in most countries, an employer might be unwilling to offer leave to new parents.
Pregnancy falls under the same legal rights for workplace discrimination as every other protected characteristic. Therefore, if your employer is treating you differently or threatening to terminate your contract due to pregnancy, you should take legal action.
As with pregnancy status, your employer should not treat you differently because of your age. This is a protected characteristic and by law, you have the same rights as every other employer, regardless of age.
If you feel that your employer is discriminating against you because of how old you are, it is important to speak up. Raise your concerns with your employer and if they fail to make any changes, you may need to escalate the issue to the employment tribunal.
Often, discrimination due to sexuality results from prejudice and personal opinions. While we are moving towards a much more inclusive and accepting society, discrimination based on sexual orientation is still too common.
Employers must treat every current employee with the same respect, regardless of their sexual orientation. They must also provide fair opportunities for interview candidates of all sexualities.
Employers are often unwilling to hire members of military families because of how often these families tend to relocate. However, discrimination due to military status is unacceptable, and an employer must provide fair opportunities to everybody.
If you suspect that your employer is treating you unfairly or threatening to dismiss you because of your military status, this is an issue that must be raised with the employment tribunal.