Granite City employers must strive to create a welcoming and inclusive workplace free of discrimination. Discrimination is unethical, creates a hostile working environment, and can also result in legal action against the employer if the issue is not rectified. The Balance offers the following information on discrimination so that workers can take action when it occurs.

Types of discrimination

Treating a worker unfavorably based on inherent traits constitutes discrimination in the workplace. This can occur during the hiring process but can also affect existing employees when it comes to promotions or treatment in general. Unfortunately, employment discrimination can take on many forms. People can be discriminated against based on gender, ethnicity, race, age, religious beliefs, nationality, disability, and pregnancy status.

How discrimination and harassment are linked

Harassment is actually a form of discrimination. For example, unwanted romantic advances, offensive jokes, bullying, intimidation, sexual or physical assault, and viewing sexually explicit images in the workplace can all be construed as forms of harassment. If you feel you’re the victim of harassment, the first step is to inform a supervisor or manager about the issue. It’s best to follow the instructions in your employee handbook when it comes to reporting incidents.

Legal protections

In the event you decide to file suit against your employer for failing to adequately deal with harassment or discrimination, it helps to understand your legal protections. There are numerous laws in place that prohibit workplaces from treating certain employees unfairly when compared to other workers. Employers are not permitted to pay workers differently based on gender, withhold raises and promotions due to age, or make assumptions about a worker’s ability based on his race or ethnicity.