How Do I Know When Something Is or Isn’t Workplace Discrimination? By Dan Atkerson on July 13, 2016

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Workplace discrimination affects thousands, maybe millions of people in the US every year. It prevents good people from earning a living simply because of a religious belief, a disability, or even their gender. Discrimination at work can ruin so many lives, but sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether something is discrimination or not.

What Is and Isn’t Workplace Discrimination?

Employees are protected from discrimination based on the following:
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Color
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Religion
  • National Origin
  • Citizenship status
  • Genetic information
Workplace discrimination involves any employment decision, action or inaction, that an employer may make based on any of the previously mentioned protected classes. For example, an employer who refuses to hire a person with Muslim beliefs would be discriminating based on religion. Another example of discrimination would be if lesser qualified colleagues of the opposite sex are routinely promoted ahead of you.

However, not every decision made by your employers would constitute workplace discrimination. There may be some decisions made which you may not like, but that are not discriminatory. For example, if your boss chooses someone else for a promotion before you, it isn’t necessarily discrimination. So long as the decision was made based on each applicant’s qualifications and who the manager thinks would do a better job, it won’t likely be the basis of a discrimination lawsuit.

If you suspect you’ve been a victim of workplace discrimination, you may want to speak with a qualified employment lawyer to find out for sure.

Dallas employment attorney Dan A. Atkerson has been practicing law for more than 20 years and knows the difference between what is and what is not discrimination. 

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