Recognizing Subtle Forms of New York Employment Discrimination

New York Employment discrimination can take many different forms. It occurs when an applicant or an employee is treated differently or unfavorably due to their age, disability, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or other protected status. Often, when you hear about employment discrimination it is discussed in the context of being called names or insulted or not being hired even though you are qualified for a position. However, there are more subtle forms of workplace discrimination that take place every day.

Examples of Subtle Employment Discrimination

To help you recognize less obvious forms of discrimination, see the list of examples of ways employers discriminate.

  • No invitations to events: Companies often host promotional events or sponsor or invite their employees to attend corporate events, including industry conferences, conventions, or fundraisers. These events can be instrumental when it comes to an employee’s career opportunities. The employees would attend these functions are usually chosen for a reason; it can indicate that these are types of employees that the employer wants to promote or feature in a prominent way. If the employer is purposely not inviting certain groups to these events, such as women or other minorities, it is an example of discrimination.
  • Disciplinary measures: A discreet way that some employers attempt to conceal discrimination is via disciplinary measures. They abuse this by disciplining employees for small infractions that normally aren’t cause for punishment or by making a major distinction between employees; some employees may be greatly penalized for doing the same thing that other employees may receive a warning. What is even more troublesome to employees is that by officially taking disciplinary measures creates a record which can be used to rationalize later actions, including denying employees promotions or raises.  
  • Dress codes: Another tactic that employers use to hide discriminatory tendencies is by implementing dress codes. Because some religions have strict dressing standards, there can be tension between an employer’s dress code and religious employees’ standard of dress. Another example is some employers discriminate by banning hairstyles, including braids, Bantu knots, or dreadlocks. This is significant in New York because racial discrimination is forbidden, but the state also specifically prohibits racial discrimination based on hairstyles. 
  • Denial of training: Many businesses will propose training opportunities to some of their employees, which can make it more likely for them to raise the profile in the company and get promoted. Obviously, the training can be costly so the company will be selective as to who gets it. A careful analysis of the employees chosen for training and those who are not may reveal a blueprint of discrimination, especially if the training is needed to rise in the company. 
  • Isolation: This is an understated form of discrimination that involves the employer urging workers to disengage from another worker. This can result in lower efficiency for the isolated worker and loneliness that can contribute to poor mental health issues; the treatment may drive them to leave the company on their own accord without the employer firing them.  

Discuss Workplace Discrimination with an Employment Attorney

If you suspect that you’ve suffered workplace discrimination, then you should speak to a skilled employment attorney who can review your situation and assist you with the next steps to take. Fortunately, you can contact an experienced MOWK Law employment attorney who is here to help you evaluate your potential claim.