Discrimination in the workplace is not something employees have to tolerate. They have legal protections when that discrimination focuses on their gender, age, race, and many other such categories. They know it, and employers know it.
However, that doesn’t mean employers won’t discriminate. The unfortunate reality is that they will often try to hide what they’re doing so it doesn’t appear illegal. How do they do it?
“The cultural fit”
One excuse that employers will sometimes use when hiring is to say that someone is not a good “cultural fit” for the workplace, even if they are qualified. There are situations when this may be true, such as when someone wants a relaxing workplace and doesn’t want to hire a high-strung employee.
But it’s also a slippery slope. What if the cultural fit really means they want to hire only Christian workers, not Muslim workers? What if it means they only want to hire white workers, rather than minority candidates? It’s a vague enough term that it could be a way to hide clear discrimination.
“The recent graduate”
Another example is when a company claims to be looking for recent college graduates to hire. They may not specify an age, but how many workers 40 years of age and older are going to be recent college graduates? This may just be a way to say that they want to hire young people and pass over older candidates who are just as qualified, and that’s a problem.
These may just be two examples, but discrimination takes many forms. If you experience it, be sure you know what legal options you have.