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How Can I Deal With Promotion Discrimination?

Hearing the news that you did not receive the promotion you really wanted can come with a plethora of emotions including sadness and disappointment. If it is your second, third, or even fourth time being passed up for a promotion those emotions might turn into anger and frustration. If you are qualified and deserving of a promotion but are continuously being overlooked, you could be experiencing promotion discrimination. If you feel like you are being discriminated against, contact a Marquette employment lawyer for assistance.

What is Promotion Discrimination?

Discrimination is the unfair treatment of a person due to prejudices. Discrimination in the workplace has been a major issue across the United States for decades. Certain classes of people are protected from workplace discrimination by both federal and state laws.

Promotion discrimination specifically refers to management or a company passing over an employee for a promotion based on one of these protected characteristics. Not getting a promotion you wanted does not automatically mean you are experiencing promotion discrimination. However, if you are qualified and deserving but continuously are overlooked for people who are less qualified or not as good of a worker, there is a chance that you are experiencing discrimination.

What Classes Are Protected From Workplace Discrimination?

There are several classes of people that are legally protected from employment discrimination. Under both federal law and Michigan state law, it is illegal to discriminate against an employee because of their:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Marital status
  • Physical appearance
  • Arrest record
  • Disability

Despite the laws in place to protect these classes, workplace discrimination does still exist. Some examples could include a black man being passed up for a promotion and having it go to a less qualified white man instead because management believes the white man will fit in better on the new team. It could also entail a single mother not receiving a deserved promotion because the company does not believe she will be as committed to the position because of her children. These are unfair assumptions to make and would be classified as discrimination.

What Actions Can I Take?

If you have experienced any kind of discrimination in the workplace it is important to take action. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Document every instance of discrimination with as much detail as possible.
  • Collect data on every promotion you have applied for or requested, detailing what the role was, your qualifications, who received the promotion instead, etc.
  • Familiarize yourself with your company‚Äôs discrimination policies as well as their promotion processes.
  • Speak with HR about your concerns and ask them to investigate.
  • If needed, file a formal complaint with the relevant department.
  • Hire an employment lawyer. An attorney can provide you with the experience and knowledge necessary to navigate your situation and fight for your rights.
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