Illinois employment laws protect employees from discrimination in the workplace and provide available remedies to victims. However, some forms of discrimination are subtle, sometimes making the victim doubt whether they are facing any prejudice. Moreover, some violators make victims question the hostile behavior by saying they were merely jokes and are harmless.
Being aware of possible signs of discrimination can guide employees on what step is appropriate for them to take moving forward.
Signs to look out for
Discrimination can exist as early as the hiring process until the end of employment. If the basis for the following acts is race, gender, age, disability, religion, pregnancy or certain characteristics specific to an employee, it is considered discrimination:
- Refusal to hire
- Wrongful termination
- Denial of promotion and benefits
- Unfair treatment compared to other employees
- Unjust disciplinary actions
These are just some signs of discrimination to look out for in the workplace. Since some acts are subtle and indirect, it is understandable to doubt whether one’s situation is considered discrimination.
Fortunately, there are available remedies for victims of workplace discrimination. For one, the victim can file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights. An employee can also file a case with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Depending on the circumstances of each case, a discrimination victim can recover compensatory and punitive damages.
Protecting employees’ rights
Discrimination should not go unnoticed. Identifying discrimination is not easy, but having an idea of what could potentially be discrimination in the workplace can aid one in taking the necessary steps to protect their rights as an employee.