What are the different types of workplace discrimination?

On Behalf of | May 10, 2021 | workplace discrimination | 0 comments

Inclusivity is crucial within workplaces these days. Not only does it benefit employers to have a diverse and dynamic staff, it also ensures people have equal access to opportunities.

Unfortunately, not all workplaces have instituted policies that ensure inclusivity. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission explains different types of harassment and how they impact individual workers.

Race or color

Laws mandate equal treatment of all workers. An employer or co-worker cannot discriminate against a person because of their race or skin color. Discrimination involves unfavorable treatment of a worker, such as failing to hire a worker because of their race or color, passing over workers of a certain race when it comes to promotions, or giving certain workers unfavorable assignments. Race or color-based harassment can also occur at work, which involves calling a person racial slurs or insulting terms, telling inappropriate jokes, or displaying racially-insensitive or offensive pictures at work.


The Age Discrimination in Employment Act is legislation that protects workers over the age of 40 from discrimination and harassment. Behaviors that contribute to a hostile work environment, such as repeatedly asking and older worker when they might retire or making frequent jokes about a worker’s ability because of their age are not permitted.


Laws safeguard people who ascribe to all sincere religious beliefs, regardless if they are a part of an established religion. In addition to laws regarding discrimination and harassment, employers cannot isolate a person for their religious beliefs or expressions thereof.


Sex discrimination includes poor treatment based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and transgender status. Employers must protect workers from discrimination and harassing behaviors, as well as unwanted, persistent advances of a sexual nature.


The law states that employers and co-workers treat all qualified employees the same, regardless of any disabilities they have. Employers must also reasonably accommodate workers, so they can perform their jobs. As an example, an employer must provide a seat if the worker has an issue with mobility.

Keep in mind that the above behaviors are illegal regardless of who is doing them. That means managers, supervisors, fellow employees, and consultants are all capable of breaking the rules if they engage in harassing or discriminatory behaviors.