Do you feel like your employer is inconsistent when it comes to things like discipline or promotions? Do you sometimes wonder why your employer is seemingly not enforcing its own policies in some circumstances or only with some individuals? Have you gotten yelled at or written up for doing something that you know other employees have done without consequence? This could be a case of your employer simply not being consistent with enforcing its own policies. But it could also be a sign of something more troubling: discrimination.
Read on to learn what you should do if you find yourself in a situation where you are seemingly always treated differently than other employees.
Ask Your Employer Why Your Situation Was Treated Differently
If you know for a fact that another employee did the same thing you did and did not receive consequences or have it held against them, bring up the situation and ask what is different this time. Your employer will likely say they can't discuss the details of another employee's career, but they should be able to clearly state why your situation led to the consequences at hand. If your employer is smart, they should be able to provide written documentation describing exactly how what you did was outside of policy and point you to the specific policy in question that you violated.
If a Pattern Develops, Document What Is Happening
It's important to be open to a conversation with your boss the first time you notice a policy applying to some people but not to others. Maybe it really just was oversight. Managers are human and human beings make mistakes. But if the same issue keeps returning, it's now a pattern of behavior. Just as one example, if you and the other women in the office are frequently written up for returning from lunch late but you know that men in the office who are friends with the boss are allowed to stay out at their leisure, write down what is happening and ask any other people who notice it to make a note of it as well.
If You Are Always Treated Differently, It Might Be More Than a Lack of Consistency
If the only thing your employer seems to be consistent about is singling out a certain person or group of people and you feel that it might have something to do with race, gender, sexual orientation or religion, then it's time to consider hiring an employment discrimination lawyer. Having your lawyer contact the company on your behalf can encourage them to clean up their act. But regardless of how the company responds, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your troubles.