You may not realize it, but employment discrimination happens every day. It happens even to people who don't realize they are being discriminated against. Additionally, many people confuse discrimination and harassment in the workplace. If you have a problem at work and want to resolve it, you first need to understand the difference between the two types of issues.
What Is Discrimination?
Discrimination occurs when an organization treats somebody poorly. The person treated poorly must belong to a protected class under legal guidelines in order for the issue to become a discrimination case.
There are also several forms of discrimination to take note of. Some are easier to notice than others.
For example, some companies refuse to hire members of a protected class. They might also not promote members of a protected class, even if they have the same skills, knowledge, and education as their peers in similar roles. Some people are even paid less for performing the same work.
For example, a woman and a man may have been working in the same organization. The woman may have been working at the organization for a year longer and has the same skills and expertise as the man. She performs better on her tasks and even has better feedback based on her interactions with clients and co-workers. She may notice that the men in the office are promoted more often than the women, and her male colleague is given a promotion after she is passed up. She may have a discrimination case.
What Is Harassment?
One key difference between discrimination and harassment is the fact that harassment can affect anybody. Additionally, harassment can be inflicted by anybody in the organization. The person who harasses an employee could be a boss, manager, co-worker, or even a subordinate. Often, harassment happens after filing a discrimination lawsuit, which can become a legal issue as well.
Can You Sue for These Issues?
You can sue an organization. The law protects individuals who belong to certain groups from discrimination, and people who are harassed at work (especially after filing a discrimination suit) can also seek monetary compensation in court.
If you are thinking about suing somebody for discrimination, you should hire a lawyer who specializes in employment discrimination. You may need an attorney because organizations that participate in discrimination and harassment understand how to hide their practices. An employment discrimination lawyer understands the best way to find the information necessary to win your case.
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