If you are having a hard time at work because of rude or abusive coworkers (or management), you may be wondering what you did wrong to deserve such treatment. It is possible that you have spent a lot of time repeating situations over in your head to try and understand why a boss or coworker reacted in a certain way.

If you feel that you are being mistreated by your coworkers or that you are being intentionally excluded in the workplace, it is important that you do not rule out the possibility of workplace discrimination. This can occur more often than you think, and it may be necessary to take legal action to get relief. If you are struggling to get along with your coworkers, you should consider some of the key warning signs of workplace discrimination before taking action.

What are the legally protected characteristics related to workplace discrimination?

Not all types of mistreatment are illegal. However, federal law has highlighted certain characteristics that are protected from discrimination. This means that it is illegal to be discriminated against because of the color of your skin, race, age, gender, perceived or actual sexual orientation, disability, parental status, and other reasons.

What are some examples of workplace discrimination?

Workplace discrimination comes in different forms. For example, if a person is denied a promotion that they are promised shortly after the boss learns that they are homosexual, this is likely due to discrimination. If the employee’s sexual orientation can be linked with the manager’s decision to not promote the qualified worker, this will most likely be determined to be workplace discrimination under the law.

Another example of workplace discrimination could be a situation in which a job applicant who is in a wheelchair is invited to an interview and is asked many questions about the nature of their disability that are not relevant to the job role. A job applicant should never be asked personal questions about their disability in a job interview, because the interview should focus on their individual suitability for the role.

If you believe that you have been discriminated against as a job applicant or an employee in Missouri, it is important that you take action to protect yourself.