While we like to think that we will be treated fairly in the workplace, this is not always the case. Even if we are more qualified than another candidate, we may be passed over for a promotion because of bias or discrimination. Such discriminatory practices are against the law, but employers may allow subtle biases to influence their decisions. In many instances, you may not be able to clearly identify whether you have been discriminated against in the workplace; you may simply experience a general feeling of unease. Here are a few indicators that can help you determine whether you’ve suffered employment discrimination and what steps you can take moving forward.
1. You’re a Member of a Protected Class
Employment discrimination occurs when an individual is treated less favorably than other employees because of their age, disability, race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other components of your identity or personhood that are protected under federal or state law. For example, if you are an employee who was let go because you are “nearing retirement age,” and the company hired a much younger—and inexperienced—person to take your place, you may be able to file an employment discrimination claim.
2. Your Employer Has a History of Discriminatory Practices
While it’s unlikely that there is documented evidence of your employer habitually engaging in discriminatory practices, you may notice small details that may indicate a pattern of bias. Is there a scarcity of other members of your protected class? Do you hear complaints from other members of your protected class about harassment or discrimination? Are there frequent derogatory comments from superiors about your protected class? If so, you should share this information with your attorney to determine the best course of action.
3. You’ve Suffered Adverse Action Because of Your Status
The key to a successful workplace discrimination claim is to demonstrate how your status as a member of a protected class resulted in an adverse action against you by your employer. Were you demoted to a lower position? Was your employment terminated? Were you unjustly compensated in comparison to other employees? Making the link between your status as a member of a protected class and the adverse action you suffered can be difficult, especially as your employer will work hard to deny any and all discriminatory practices. Your attorney will work with you to develop a sound legal strategy for moving forward.
If you believe you’ve been a victim of employment discrimination in Westchester County, contact the experienced and trusted legal team at Gash & Associates, P.C. by calling (914) 328-8800 today.