Discrimination in Workplace

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We often feel different. We often feel that we don’t belong in a place. Are we alien who live in planet earth? 

Though, human are unique and very diverse. Each of us has our own personality and we all came from different backgrounds. 

Despite those facts, we live together and should be living in harmony. Thus, nobody should not discriminate others just because they are different and minor. 

In the USA alone, there are more than 1 million cases of discrimination in workplace filed between the fiscal years 2010 and 2017. And these are just cases that has been reported to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or state and local partner agencies. The real number of discrimination that happened must be much higher than that. Some of the victim chose to be silent because reporting the discrimination is considered complicated and it might only get the victim fired from the workplace. Other workers perhaps do not even know that he or she is experiencing discrimation. 

So, how can a treatment in the workplace be regarded as discrimination?

According to Equality and Human Rights Commission, discrimination occurs when you are treated less favourably than another person in a similar situation and this treatment cannot be objectively and reasonably justified. Discrimination can also occur if you are disadvantaged by being treated the same as another person when your circumstances are different (for example if you are disabled or pregnant).

As stated in the Human Rights Act, it is against the law to treat people differently in the basis of sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status which include sexual orientation, illegitimacy, marital status, trade union membership, transsexual status and imprisonment. 

Examples of discrimination in workplace

Discrimination in workplace can be conducted by our boss, supervisors, colleagues and even a nonemployee. This also means that discrimination can happen to all of us, no matter in which position and where we work. 

Somebody in our office, for instance, repeatedly referred to our country or locality of origin. Another person makes inappropriate jokes that lead to sexual conquest. A well-performed employee can’t be promoted for rejecting supervisor’s offer for a drink. An immigrant worker always sits alone during lunch time. Prospective employees are asked about their religion and marital status at the interview. 

Sometimes it is hard to tell if an action is considered as discrimination or not. But, when you feel something is not right and that you are treated unfairly, it is best that you address your complaint to the HR department first.