Fair employment practices are vital in the modern business world. If managers and execs are allowed to make decisions based on their internal prejudices and biases, then the workforce will quickly become unbalanced toward those who meet the ‘have a beer with’ standard whether or not they are skilled and dedicated workers. Even if the biases are unconscious or “don’t mean any harm”.
Often, the first signs that you are being subject to employment discrimination are subtle. But over time, a pattern emerges with both you and other employees who are disadvantaged (or even benefitted) by the workplace bias. When that pattern finally does emerge, you should take your evidence to consult with a Minnesota employment discrimination lawyer right away. They can help you figure out how serious the situation is and whether you have legal grounds to take action and make it right.
Here are five examples of when it’s time to consult with an employment lawyer before the discrimination impact on your career goes any further.
There is a Pattern of Others Promoted Over You
Biased Upward Mobility
One of the most common signs of bias in the workplace is a pattern of promotions that does not match performance. Perhaps women just never quite make it to the supervisor position in your company, or there’s a disturbingly monochrome look to management. If you feel you’re being held down by a prejudicial glass ceiling that is controlling assignment and promotion decisions, it’s time to look for the real bias behind this patterned decision making.
You Are Rejected as ‘Overqualified’ For Jobs You Are Not Overqualified For
When age discrimination is at play, few managers just come out and say “You’re too old, we’re not going to hire you” or “We think a younger guy would be better for this promotion”. Instead, they say you’re “Overqualified”. The overqualified label is supposed to indicate that you have too many degrees or years of management experience to sit comfortably in an associate-level position. But it’s very often used as a company’s way to brush off older employees. And if you are over 40, this could legally be a dismissal based on age discrimination rather than anything to do with your qualifications. Especially if you know you are not overqualified for the position.
Your Children are Cited as a Reason for Job Decisions
Family Status Discrimination
Minnesota employers are not allowed to make decisions based on an employee’s family status either. Whether they are single or married, have children or don’t, or whether they have an elderly relative at home to care for. One of the more common examples of family status discrimination is when children are cited as a reason to keep an employee on tame unimpressive assignments while unattached coworkers are given the juicy projects and big promotions. “Oh, but you need time for your kids. Your kids won’t appreciate the long hours. We wouldn’t want to take you away from your kids for this big important event with the clients.” If you hear these lines starting to spin from manager’s mouths, call an employment lawyer.
You Are Not Invited to the Company Christmas Party Because of Your Religion
Sometimes, an employer tries to be considerate of cultural and religious differences but comes out the other side as biased all over again. One prime example is the company Christmas party. The company knows that an employee is not Christian but they don’t want to change the name of the party or remove the little nativity scene by the punch bowl… so they just don’t invite the ‘tricky’ employee. That employee misses out o networking opportunities, community building, and may even be seen as a voluntary ‘party pooper’ though they were not even invited to attend. This is definitely a sign that there is bias and legal consultation is needed.
Your Disability Keeps Coming Up in Conversation with the Boss
Or perhaps you have a physical disability that does not get in the way of work but your boss is aware of it. This should be no big deal, you manage your own accommodation and get all your work done without trouble. But for some reason, your disability just keeps coming up in conversation. You may be introduced as the disabled one, your boss may simply take every opportunity to mention his/her awareness of your disability. This kind of insistence verges on prejudice and can result in biased decision making because the disability is disproportionately prominent in your boss’s mind. Consult an employment lawyer if you suspect these little comments are starting to influence your assignments and opportunities.
Are you seeing signs of bias or discrimination in the workplace? If so, contact a Minnesota employment discrimination lawyer today!
Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individualsituation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.