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Should subtle forms of discrimination be actionable?

As a citizen of Florida, you’re entitled to a workplace that is free from discrimination. Employers and other employees may not discriminate against you based on your age, sex, race or another similar characteristic. Unfortunately, some individuals find themselves discriminated against by their employer or other employees.

Obvious types of discrimination

Discrimination and harassment can take place in many different forms. The most obvious include being fired, being demoted, having your pay cut or having your hours cut. These types of discrimination are usually easy to identify and often happen due to race or gender discrimination in the workplace. However, discrimination isn’t always so obvious.

Defining subtle forms of discrimination

Subtle discrimination happens in an unintentional or unconscious manner. Individuals who discriminate subtly do so because they have preconceived beliefs and biases ingrained in their minds. A common example is a male boss assuming that a female employee will take on a feminine office role. In his mind, feminine office roles might include answering phone calls and greeting clients.

Is this form of discrimination actionable?

Two of the biggest problems with subtle discrimination are that many don’t even realize that they’re doing it, and their actions aren’t overly apparent like other forms of workplace discrimination. Those who believe that they have been a victim of subtle discrimination should speak with their human resources department or supervisor about the incident. Typically, alerting management of the issue is enough to remedy it from future occurrences.

Workplace discrimination is something that no one should have to deal with. While there are many laws helping people who have become victims of workplace discrimination, subtle discrimination isn’t as black and white as other types in the workplace. If you’re unsure whether an incident you experienced qualifies as workplace discrimination, you may want to consult an attorney to clarify the issue.

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