The service industry is one of the biggest sectors of the United States economy. In fact, many people find that working in a service position is the best way to make a livable income. However, service industry jobs, especially tipped positions where a customer provides a gratuity, are often subject to discrimination by employers.

Appearance discrimination, especially weight discrimination, remains common in the service industry. Employers will seek the best-looking people they can and prioritize the most attractive staff members over others when it comes to scheduling. Unfortunately, while it can be difficult to prove this kind of discrimination, there is no question that it can have a serious financial impact on employees.

In many cases, older staff members, as well employees of the gender less preferred by management, may bear the brunt of workplace discrimination. If you believe that you are receiving fewer or worse shifts because of your age or gender, that could be a form of workplace discrimination.

While older service workers often have more developed skills, their careers can suffer

Many people work their entire lives in the service sector. In some cases, service workers utilize their experience to move into managerial positions over the years. Other times, they are content to remain in direct service positions for the duration of their working life.

After many years of providing service to customers, they, no doubt, have excellent skills as far as communication, memory and job performance go. Sadly, while age can certainly improve the performance of service workers, it can also make it more difficult for them to get the best shifts. As previously noted, some employers will prioritize scheduling workers who are young.

Many times, managers will perceive younger workers as more attractive and, therefore, more beneficial to their business’s atmosphere. If it is obvious that your employer engages in systemic discrimination regarding the number and quality of shifts available to older service workers, you may have grounds for a discrimination claim.

Sometimes, gender plays a role in workplace discrimination as well

Older workers aren’t the only ones who can struggle to get the best shifts at a company. Employers often also make gender-based discriminatory decisions. Many companies will hire staff they believe will be most attractive to those consumers. Unfortunately, this may mean that service workers of a certain gender end up receiving fewer shifts or shifts where business is slower and tips are lower.

If it is obvious that gender or age factor into how your employer creates the schedule, that may be sufficient grounds for a discrimination lawsuit. Discussing your situation with an attorney who is familiar with Missouri employment and discrimination laws can help you decide if your case is worth pursuing.