How do I recognize discrimination?

Asked about 2 years ago - San Diego, CA

Sometimes I feel, I am discriminated at work or at certain places. Maybe its just me but normally people just look at you and treat you differently. Specially at work it happens alot. How do you recognize discrimination?


Attorney answers (4)

  1. Nathan Kased

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Do you believe that you have been treated differently or adversely at work because of some protected characteristic (e.g., age, disability status, race, etc.)? Have you been the target of inappropriate comments at work that target a protected characteristic you possess? Have you been written up for an illegitimate reason? If you answer yes to any of these and have specific examples to support your affirmative response(s), then you may have actionable discrimination and harassment claims and should consult with an employment attorney right away.

  2. Marilynn Mika Spencer

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Many people misunderstand the meaning of employment discrimination. “Discrimination” does not mean an employer has to be fair, respectful or has to make good decisions. Workplace discrimination means the employer treats one person or group differently from others who are not in the same group, but are similarly situated.

    The only workplace discrimination that is illegal is discrimination that is against public policy. Public policy refers only to things that are specifically prohibited by a statute (law) enacted by the legislature, or prohibited by a regulation promulgated (established) by a government agency. Public policy includes statutes prohibiting discrimination against people in specific protected groups, which include sex, race, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, age (40 years and older), religion, marital status, pregnancy and genetic information. Sexual harassment is considered a form of sex discrimination.

    Public policy also protects people who blow the whistle on a matter of public concern, complain about improper wage and hour practices, or who exercise voting rights, family leave rights, jury duty rights, domestic violence rights, and a few more rights protected by statute.

    An employer cannot refuse to hire, refuse to promote, change terms of employment or fire an employee if the reason for the change is against the law (against public policy). For example, an employer cannot increase your workload because of your race, sex, national origin, religion, etc. or because you blew the whistle on safety violations

    There are various ways to enforce these rights, depending on the particular public policy involved. For more information on discrimination law, please see my Avvo guide on this subject:

    *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your... more
  3. Mark Harrison Wagner

    Contributor Level 8


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I think you should talk to an attorney and explain all the facts and let the lawyer give you a free consultation to discuss it. Sometimes it is hard to find. You need to consider if the different treatment was based on a protected categoy (e.g., race, religion, gender, origin etc)

    For more information, contact me at or (310) 857-5293. You can also view my website at... more
  4. Michelle A. Perfili

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . Illegal employer conduct that constitutes actionable discrimination is when you are being treated differently than similarly situated employess and that conduct is directed to you based on your being in a protected class or category (such as race, gender, orientation, disability, etc.).
    The conduct can include lack of promotion, different treatment in job duties or conditions, discipline or even a decision to terminate. The State Agency governing employment discrimination is the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and I have attached a link to their section called "Civil Rights 101". The site is very informative and I would suggest you take a browse through it and if you have specific questions seek an employment attorney, many of whom offer free initial consultations. Good luck.

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