We Protect Workers

Is it always discrimination if you don’t get a promotion?

One way that discrimination happens at work is when workers are not given promotions that they know that they deserve. Instead, these promotions go to others who are not in the same protected class.

For example, perhaps you are a minority worker in a workplace filled with Caucasian employees. You enjoy your job, and you do well at it, and you don’t tend to face daily discrimination, at least that you notice. But, every time you apply for a promotion, they pass over you. Pretty soon, you start to think that maybe they’re discriminating against you because they refuse ever to promote a minority worker. Is this always discrimination?

Examining the specifics of the case

Simply not getting a promotion is not automatically discrimination. You have to look deeper into the specifics and see if the reason that you didn’t get it was because of your race – or another protected class.

Naturally, your employer will likely not tell you this directly. But you can sometimes find external evidence that points to this. For example, say you have 15 years of experience, and you’ve never been written up. For the last three promotions, the people who have gotten them have all had less than 10 years of experience, and one of them had been written up numerous times in the past. You can see that you’re not being treated fairly because you are clearly more qualified for that position than the person who got it – and this has happened repeatedly.

If you do experience this type of discrimination at work, it is high time that you looked into all of the legal options at your disposal.