Missourians, like others elsewhere around the country, can experience discrimination in the workplace. While illegal, old prejudices die hard and these situations still occur. It can be very helpful to the worker to know ways to identify these negative incidents that affect both an employee’s performance and morale.

Sometimes the discrimination targets an employee’s religion or belief system. Workers may be subject to harassment, segregation, unfavorable treatment, lower rates of pay and even unwarranted termination. It can be more subtle, such as not allowing a worker to perform his or her religious practices or attend services at the church, mosque, temple or other house of worship due to an inflexible work schedule, voluntary substitutions on shifts or reassignments. All of the above are violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Tile VII.

Age discrimination can rear its ugly head when older workers become the butt of jokes about their age or are subjected to offensive remarks. They can also be passed over for promotions for which they are qualified in favor of younger workers. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects those applicants or workers who are 40 to 69 years old.

Both men and women can experience sex discrimination in their workplace, which can manifest as a supervisor or co-worker making unwelcome sexual advances and actual physical harassment like groping or touching. Sex discrimination can also hit an employee’s wallet, as when a female worker is paid less for the same job as her male counterpart. In 2011, the United States Census Bureau reported that, on average, for every dollar that is earned by a man, a woman makes only 77 cents.

Racial discrimination affects minorities mostly but could also affect a white worker in a mostly African-American or Hispanic workforce. It occurs when employees are treated unequally due to their skin color or because they possess certain characteristics associated with people of specific races. Some workers married to spouses of different races might experience racial discrimination based on these factors. All may be subjected to unfair policies, terminations, derogatory statements and other negative effects.

If you feel that you have experienced discrimination in your Missouri workplace, you may choose to consult with an employee law attorney for advice.

Source: Global Post, “Examples of Discrimination in the Workplace” Jim Welte, Oct. 23, 2014