Workplace discrimination refers to the unjust treatment of an applicant or employee because of a fundamental characteristic of who that person is, including race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion and disability. In Hawaii, employees also have additional workplace protections, including against discrimination based on credit history, arrest records and court records.
Unfortunately, workplace prejudice still occurs every day in Hawaii. These are among the most typical cases.
1. Racial discrimination
Racial discrimination happens when a person loses out on a job or promotion, experiences a demotion or termination, faces a denial of benefits or encounters harassment at work because of his or her race.
For example, if an employer hires a white applicant over a better-qualified Black applicant, this may be a case of racial discrimination in the workplace.
2. Sexual and gender discrimination
Sex and gender discrimination means unfair treatment of men or women based on sex. It also includes discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
One common case of sex and gender discrimination occurs when a woman makes less than what a man in the same circumstances would typically make.
If an employer passes over a gay man with years of experience and instead promotes someone with less experience and management skills, this may be discrimination.
3. Pregnancy discrimination
Many women do not disclose their pregnancy during the hiring process because they want to have a chance to work, even if the employer does not want to pay for or give maternity leave. Firing, failing to hire, demoting or denying benefits to a person because they are pregnant is illegal.
It is critical to be aware of workplace discrimination and take these cases seriously. Everyone has the right to safe, fair treatment in the workplace.