4 common discrimination at work examples to know about

discrimination at work examples

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Every employee is entitled to equal and fair treatment within the workplace. This isn’t just an ethical principle, but it’s also a legal mandate derived from the 2010 Equality Act. Under this act, everyone possesses certain protected characteristics, which means they should not be treated more or less favourably compared to others. But despite these legal mandates, many employers and employees are unaware of their existence. This can result in various forms of workplace discrimination and mistreatment of employees. 

Here at DRN, we’ve put together four common examples of discrimination at work that you might not have been aware of: 

Common discrimination at work examples:

Dyslexic people being overlooked for promotions: 

When an employee is bypassed for a promotional opportunity in favour of a colleague, especially when the overlooked individual is dyslexic, questions of discrimination may arise. If the overlooked employee has consistently shown capability and the employer was aware of their dyslexia, the employer may have to demonstrate that the condition didn’t influence the promotion decision.

Pregnancy-related Redundancy

If a pregnant employee is chosen for redundancy over another individual with a comparable skillset and similar abilities, it may raise questions about potential discriminatory practices. The fact that a pregnant woman is likely to be absent on maternity leave in the near future should not be a factor in redundancy decisions, and if challenged, the onus is on the employer to prove this was not the case. 

Older people being overlooked for training opportunities:

Should an organisation overlook their elder employees in regard to workplace training, career development or opportunities to grow within their roles – they may be able to claim discrimination. An employer needs to justify why the older person was not chosen for the training because every employee, regardless of age, should have the opportunity to acquire new skills. 

Disability-related discrimination

If an employee is treated unfairly due to a physical disability, they may have a claim for workplace discrimination or harassment. Examples of harassment at work based on disability may include nicknames, teasing, mocking or pulling pranks on the employee. If these actions upset or distress the person, then they have grounds for a harassment claim. 

The two main forms of discrimination at work:

There are two primary forms of discrimination that you may experience at work: 

1. Direct Discrimination

Direct discrimination occurs when a person with protected 

Characteristics (race, gender, age etc.)  are treated less favourably than others.

For example: If a woman was paid less in her role at work compared to her male colleagues, for the same role. 

2. Indirect Discrimination

Indirect discrimination occurs when there are rules or arrangements in place that apply to everyone, but that put someone with a protected characteristic at an unfair disadvantage. These can be seemingly neutral policies or arrangements that didn’t intend to discriminate, but still do. 

For example: If a workplace policy states that all employees must work on Saturdays – but this is the Sabbath day for many practicing Jewish people.  

Experiencing workplace discrimination or harassment?

If you have been the victim of a form of discrimination at work please get in touch with us here at DRN Solicitors. Led by our specialist litigator, Matthew Finley we have built an established reputation for providing practical, authoritative and straightforward advice. 

Please get in touch with us here or by ringing us on 01282 433 241.