Examples of Employment Discrimination: Common Forms of Discrimination in the Workplace

The basic definition of employment discrimination is when an employee is treated unfavorably because of their race, their skin color, their disability, religion, age, gender, national origin, group affiliations, etc. Discrimination is illegal in any facet of employment. That means that the illegality of discrimination extends beyond simply hiring and firing practices.

Some common forms of discrimination in the workplace include:


  • Indicating a preference amongst candidates in a job advertisement
  • The exclusion of potential employees during recruitment
  • Discrimination when deciding upon promotion and lay-off candidates
  • Denial of the use of company facilities or the disruption of the use of common workplace facilities
  • Discrimination when assigning leave (maternity, disability, retirement options, etc.)
  • Denial of employee benefits due to discriminatory factors
  • Payment of equally experienced and qualified employees in the same position, performing the same job duties, different salaries


Employers who make assumptions based on race, gender, age, etc. are breaking the law. It’s also illegal for an employer to make assumptions regarding an employee’s capabilities because of disabilities. In addition, employers are prohibited from withholding opportunities on the job because of the employee’s relationship with someone of a certain race, age, ethnicity, etc. Discrimination sometimes comes in the form of harassment based on personal traits that are protected by the law.

Employers are required to inform all employees of their rights under EEOC laws, but if you need more information or if you have questions regarding its application to your workplace, contact the California employment law experts at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.