Employees should be judged based on their work ethic and their ability to get the job done. However, many employees have negative experiences in the workplace because they are treated poorly based on other grounds. If you have a negative interaction at work, you may be wondering whether discrimination is at the heart of it.

Workplace discrimination is a very broad term, and many different types of workplace discrimination exist. It is important that you understand how the law in Missouri defines this term, and that you know how to take action if you have become a victim of workplace discrimination.

Discrimination versus harassment

It is common for employees to be confused by jargon relating to discriminatory issues. For example, they may believe that if they were harassed, they will not be able to make a discrimination claim. However, the fact is that harassment can be a type of discrimination. That’s the case when the person who is harassing another at work is doing so because of a certain characteristic, such as race, sex or religion.

There is a fine line between acceptable behavior and discrimination

It can be difficult for victims of discrimination to recognize when it has taken place. That is because there is a very fine line between what is allowed under the law and what is not. For example, if a person was not born in the United States, their boss might choose to discuss the country that the employee is from. They could be raising the issue with good intentions in an attempt to establish common ground.

However, if an employer continues to mention the employee’s country of origin and refuses to see their identity as anything other than their nationality, this could make the employee feel uncomfortable. This could create an environment when the employee feels harassed based on their nationality.

If you have had an uncomfortable experience in the workplace and you believe that you are a victim of workplace harassment, you should take this seriously. Identify the types of behaviors that you deem inappropriate, and consider making a workplace discrimination claim so that you are protected.