Ridout Barron


Workplace discrimination takes on many forms

When one asks the average Canadian to define workplace discrimination, chances are the usual suspects will be trotted out: gender, sexuality, race. However, some Alberta residents may be surprised to note that discrimination takes on many forms, not just those commonly scrutinized by the media. Here are several types of workplace discrimination that, while under-reported, may still be worthy of pursuing legal action. 

Part-time workers often face a variety of discrimination forms based on their reduced hours compared to their full-time co-workers. Many part-time workers are passed over for special projects or other opportunities because of the perception that they are not as dedicated to the job. Their fellow full-time co-workers may also resent the flexibility of hours that comes with working a reduced work week.

Family discrimination is also a major issue, particularly for working mothers. Parents, and especially single parents, often request and require a degree of flexibility in their jobs in order to accommodate children. This is also true of employees who are responsible for elderly relatives who might require frequent doctor's visits and other special care. Other employees, and sometimes even employers, can come to view this desire for flexibility in a negative light, and their actions may mirror this dissatisfaction. 

While all forms of discrimination should be taken seriously by Alberta employers, some forms are less visible than others. If an employee feels they are being discriminated against on any basis, no matter how minor, it may bear seeking out the advice of an employment lawyer to determine a proper course of action. No employee deserves to be the target of discrimination in the workplace. 

Source: business2community.com, "3 Very Real Forms of Discrimination Employees Face at Work", Jan. 4, 2017

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