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Readers Respond: Have You Witnessed or Experienced Discrimination in Your Workplace: Even Subtly?

Responses: 123


I'm on a lifelong mission to help people focus on their similarities, not their differences. It's a tough road because discrimination is often subtle, rarely talked about, and usually, unwitting. Otherwise caring, educated people would be shocked to recognize how their upbringing, world view, and environment influence their thinking – often unintentionally and unknowingly. Won’t you take a moment to share your discrimination stories? Have you or someone you know been discriminated against in the workplace because of “differences” due to race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, or another characteristic that differs among people? Have you witnessed acts of discrimination by others, wittingly or unwittingly? If so, share your discrimination story.

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Laid off before others hired after me.

I worked for this company for 5 years. Three years ago I was laid off and they kept another worker they had hired way after I started. They caught him stealing and fired him and hired me back. Three years later I'm laid off again after they hired two other workers. They ( the bosses) tell me seniority does count a little bit. But here again I am without a job and bills to pay. I brought a house last year. You'd think they might had given me some type of warning. How discriminating is that after working and busting my butt for five years and they hire other drivers and then lay me off. I didn't do anything wrong. Of course they came with some lame excuses, etc. I probably have a lawsuit against them if I want to pursue it. Email me with your thoughts people.

Harassment/lost job when pregnant

I would like to know how long can I take someone to court? Regarding of harassment and lost my job because I got pregnant. (Your best bet is to call your state department of labor and ask. Or talk to an employment law attorney. I am not an attorney. Good luck. Regards, Susan)
—Guest Molly

I'm the only manager not salary

There are 5 managers here at the hotel where I work and all only run one department but are payed salary. Iron, housekeeping, and maintenance are the busiest ones and I am hourly. I'm also the only white manager.
—Guest sabrina

Racial discrimination

I worked at a motel for 2 weeks. I called my employer and told her I couldn't come in due to car not starting so no ride. She told me she'll have someone to pick me up for work because she really needed me at work that day. Our phones got disconnected. When I tried to call back she left a message on my voicemail saying if I didn't show up she assumed I was quitting. She thought she hung up but didn't. I could hear her calling me a bitch calling me lazy and saying all kinds of things about my race. Like black people are loud they always cuss and you have to watch how you talk to black people. I'm the message it kinda sounds like she says she hates black people. It also sounds like she says if she had it her way she would turn black people white.
—Guest wondering

personal discrimination

I was hired about 4 months ago at a local HVAC company. My husband also works for the same company. in the last month I've only worked 4 days. I've talked to my employer and was told there was no work. However, I've been told by other employees and know on a factual basis my boss has since hired 2 more employees. I also have been told that the other employees are doing the job that I was in fact hired to do. I've not had a single bad thing said about the work I've done and I've never been written up or otherwise. i feel that this is a personal matter for what ever reason.
—Guest Melissa

My manager is biased towards me

I am the only white till supervisor at our store, my two other colleagues are African American, and whenever I work with my Indian assistant manager, he treats me differently from how he treats them. I get shouted at when I go for tea, but they can go whenever it suits them. He is always nitpicking on me and finding fault with everything I do. He has not once apologized for it and when I tried to tell the store manager he took the Indian manager's side, saying that he was right. The last incident happened on Sunday when I wanted to take my tea break, after 12 only! I clocked out and when I got to the door he stopped me and threatened me with "if you go out you can stay out and you don't have to come back into the store". That was after my African American colleague already went to tea and nothing was said to her. This is going on now for almost a year.
—Guest bernie_mac

Overtime fairness

In the store where I work, there are 35 sales assistants one of whom has worked there for 10+ years. We are all contracted to work 25 hours a week per month with the occasional overtime. At the moment, we are all getting between 18-25 hours a week but this employee consistently gets 40. It's simply not right we all have bills to pay but this employee gets preferred treatment over us all is this discrimination? (Not enough details to answer your question. Maybe this employee is the best employee or gets the most done? Regards, Susan)
—Guest Aron


I was working in this place for five to six months. When they first hired me they gave me four days per week, but in my second week after I got hired he took one day from my schedule, and then another day, too. The reason was because some of his friends were getting out of jail, and some he tells me that he's hired somebody else. I'm going to kill it, tell him my two days I have left plus two more days. But he couldn't give it to me when I needed it. That is not right.
—Guest Rene escobar

Promotion was passed.

I have completed management training properly and was told that I would get the promotion quite a few times and was passed with lame reasons. Someone else (who didn't actively attend the discussion) got promoted and I was put to report to her. I have nothing against her, just that the person is not ready to be at this position just yet. I just couldn't point out a way and only could hear lame excuses. Very sad to see this happening in a very nice country on earth. Very much demotivated.
—Guest DemotivatedEmployee


I would like an expert view in a case of disciplinary action taken by my employer against me. I find it as an act of discrimination to be blamed for the actions of one of my family members. The story is simple: we have have a policy in place in our workplace which states: employees are not allowed to buy products and resell those goods for profit. If this is proven, will be classified as an act of gross misconduct. I have been accused of of gross misconduct. However! it is my family member who had the intention of selling those goods for profit without me knowing. I am now facing disciplinary hearing because of my family member's actions and doing. I find this very difficult to accept as first it wasn't me who tried selling those goods for profit, second: there are no evidence of any sales and also the policy does not state what a family member can do or can't do with products which I have purchased for them as gifts. Can you please share your view regarding this matter? Many thanks!
—Guest Nicolae

Spoke up for member of staff

I have had a constructive dismissal because I spoke up to a supervisor who was constantly making racial comments to a French member of staff...all reported to office - hushed up. Supervisor still in situation.
—Guest henry.......kent

Used and abused

Over the past 6 years I've had my overtime taken from me and given to my bully supervisor who already has been ripping off overtime off other workers, all coworkers are upset and unhappy. Others have spoken up but are still treated unfairly, but I cop most of punishment. Whenever I speak up I'm threatened to keep quiet or face termination. This same bully fraudently bodgeyed up a forklift safety check months on end was given no warning. I was told to stay silent or look for a job. On a few occasions I was even told I don't qualify for overtime because I still live at home with my parents. This same boss organised with my bully supervisor to assault another worker because they didn't like him then documented that the terminated employee threw the first punch who is now out of employment. This same boss has told me to send faulty quality products, then denied it when the customer was unhappy. I was told I need to check the jobs correctly.
—Guest doormat


My manager spoke to others that he wanted me fired. Now I was fired without a warning for anger because I spoke up over our poor travel arrangements. Months ago an employee who had anger issues attacked me physically and he still works there after 2 warnings and an intervention all of us helped him with.

Clearly showed favoritism

I had applied at L'occitane last year before the holiday season. I interviewed but was not offered a position even though I have a lot of experience in retail and related areas. I did end up getting a job at their outlet store which was also seasonal. Started off nicely until the employees gave me a hard time. Why, cuz I'm a certain race or religion? It clearly showed I was treated differently. Anyway, I did have a lot of product knowledge and have been using their products for years. I did great with customers; again, my religion and ethnicity was the reason why I wasn't kept on as a part time associate, and it just became more & more obvious cuz the store manager showed favoritism towards this other seasonal grl. (Who isn't minority or same religion) It's so sad people are this ignorant and don't look at the skills one can contribute. Well my seasonal job obviously ended & I was trying to stay in the company since I knew so much. I was never considered. I will pursue this matter further!
—Guest Nkh

Me bullied

I got bullied in school because of my religion so don't worry about it. I always get left out and I think this is because I believe in god so people pick on me :)
—Guest moni

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Have You Witnessed or Experienced Discrimination in Your Workplace: Even Subtly?

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