Workplace discrimination comes in many different forms for many various reasons. Discrimination like verbal or emotional abuse can happen because of race, religion, sex, and pregnancy. But when an employer seems to go out of their way to inconvenience an employee through scheduling or work duties, is it a form of discrimination?

Despite all the progress people have made to be more accepting of one another, workplace discrimination is still rising. Some forms of discrimination are easy to see at work, while others are hard to see. Can inconveniences qualify as discrimination?

The motivation behind the inconvenience

There is more to the life of an employee than what happens in the workplace. Everyone has matters that they need to attend to outside of business hours, like raising a family or caring for elders. While most people can find ways to balance work and home lives, it can become impossible when employers seem to be going out of their way to make things harder for an employee.

If an employer is scheduling an employee during times that they usually cannot work, is it discrimination? Typically, inconveniences like having to work on a night you requested off for a concert is not discrimination. What turns work necessities into discrimination is the motivation behind the decision.

If an employee is receiving inconveniences because of their race, sex, or any other government-protected category, it may constitute discrimination. If the workplace changes were the result of an allegedly discriminating employer, or if the shift clashes with a well-known issue the employee has, it can indicate the decision was malicious, rather than coincidental.

What can you do?

An employer does not have to accommodate every employee’s needs in the workplace, but they cannot make a job harder to discriminate against anyone. If you suspect you are the victim of discrimination, contact an attorney to help you review the situation and consider your options.