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Understanding direct and indirect workplace discrimination

On Behalf of | Aug 27, 2022 | Employment Discrimination

Regardless of your job, having a safe and positive work environment is essential for maximizing your professional potential. When you face unfair treatment or discrimination in the workplace, it can significantly impact your mental and emotional well-being.

If you experience unfair treatment, you might feel unsure whether it constitutes a legal violation. Understanding the various forms of employment discrimination allows you to know when you might need to seek legal assistance.


Direct discrimination is what many people think of when discussing this topic, and it includes unfair treatment based on protected characteristics, such as your:

  • Race
  • Sex or Gender
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Religion

If an employer refuses to hire you because of your race or passes you over for a promotion due to your age or gender, you may be a victim of direct discrimination. In addition, employers who refuse to provide reasonable accommodations for your disability could be engaging in discriminatory practices.


Not all instances of workplace discrimination are easy to identify. In some cases, company policies at your place of work can be inadvertently discriminatory. If your employer’s appearance standards unintentionally exclude naturally ethnic hair texture or religious garments, it may constitute indirect discrimination.

If you experience poor or unfair treatment based on legally protected characteristics, your work environment can prevent you from furthering your career or maintaining gainful employment. If you feel you have been a victim of workplace discrimination, a legal professional can help you build a case, defend your rights, and advocate for fair and equal treatment at work.