We all have bad days at work, but when bad days cross over to unbearable days then it may be time to think about what is happening and do something about it. Many people are not aware that they may be being victimised in the workplace, because sometimes employees get used to the way they are treated by colleagues.
Discrimination can take many forms, which is why I have put together a guide to signs of abuse or victimisation at work. You can also get a lot of information on victimisation at work from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
If you are being treated unfairly at work because you are a man or because you are a woman, then this is classed as sex discrimination. This can be done directly or indirectly and can be harassment or victimisation.
There is also such a thing as positive discrimination – for example, it is equally as discriminatory if a women are favoured for one particular role because they have been treated unfairly when they have previously applied for the role.
It is also illegal to discriminate against people if they are pregnant, if they are undergoing gender reassignment, if they are married or in a civil partnership or because of their sexual orientation.
Racial discrimination is when you are treated unfairly because of your race, or it could be because of the race of somebody that you’re connected to i.e. your partner.
Race isn’t just classed as the colour of your skin, it is also classed as nationality, citizenship and national or ethnic origin. As with sex discrimination, racial discrimination can be direct, indirect, harassment or victimisation. Discrimination of this kind is not always done intentionally, but even if it is done intentionally it is still discrimination.
It is against the law to treat somebody unfairly for being too young or too old, unless you have a fair reason to. It is also against the law to be treated unfairly because of the age of somebody that you know, for example if you are treating for an elderly relative and you are treated unfairly, this is age discrimination by association. It is also discrimination if you are treated unfairly because an employer thinks you are a certain age, even if you’re not.
If people treat you unfairly because you have a disability, this is disability discrimination and should be dealt with.