Discrimination in the Workplace
In the modern globalized world, very often one place of work can unite people from different cultural, racial and social backgrounds. The only factor that unites such people is that they work together. However, as people work together, tensions increase and differences between people become more and more distinct. Because of the low emotional intelligence and lack of understanding, such things as unacceptable behavior, ill will and discrimination start to manifest themselves. When discrimination becomes aggressive and deliberate, that causes real problems and poisons the whole working atmosphere.
If someone doesn’t understand the laws of compassion, it doesn’t mean that everyone around them must suffer. There are laws, which can protect people who are treated unfairly because of their appearance, traditions or cultural peculiarities. These laws make it a direct duty of the employers to protect their employees from discrimination and prejudice.
According to these laws, in the UK it is considered unlawful to discriminate someone because of their sexual orientation, gender, marital status, disability, religious belief, race, pregnancy, age or ethnical background.
When staff, no matter their position or status, make racist statements toward a group of people or an exact person, it is considered to be direct discrimination. A refusal to give a job to a disabled person without further investigation on their appropriateness to the given position can also be considered as an instance of direct discrimination. Other cases can include job offers with descriptions like ‘single females under 25 years’.
This is a subtler form of discrimination. Examples of indirect discrimination can include:
- Unwritten rule that allows only specific ethnic groups complete certain jobs in the company
- When person gets a promotion even though there are other more appropriate candidates
Discrimination at work can manifest itself in different forms:
- Stereotyping, which is expecting something bad from minority groups.
- Bullying, which is giving bad jokes about a certain employee.
- Sexual harassment, which is inappropriate coercion of a sexual nature towards a certain person.
- Harassment, demonstrated through continual picking on certain person.
- Insensitivity, displayed by not paying attention to discomforts of staff members.
Dealing with discrimination in the workplace
In case you feel that you have become a victim of discrimination or prejudice, you can perform specific actions to deal with this situation. These actions include the following:
- Go to your manager and provide them with very specific instances of the undesirable situations that you have experienced.
- Request your manager to consider the company’s equal opportunities policy, and follow the advice given there.
- Get in touch with the representatives of your trade union and fill an official complaint.
If your problem are not solved after performing all the above-mentioned actions, try going to the Employment Tribunal. In case you’re experiencing discrimination or harassment of different kinds at your working place, don’t ever leave it as it is. Deal with this problem and protect your dignity, as no one has the right to attack you because of your uniqueness. Diversity is the basis of evolution and all people should remember and respect this rule.