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Free EnquiryEmployment Discrimination Law Solicitor In Scotland

What Is Discrimination In The Work Place?

If you feel that you are being treated unfairly in the work place, when does this amount to discrimination?

This article explores the law of discrimination advising you of your options and when you may be able to take further action.

What Is Discrimination?

Discrimination arises when you are being treated unfairly in your work place. There are various different types of discrimination, but the discrimination must cause some inconvenience or upset to be worthy of a claim.

The main sources of discrimination are:-

  • Sex discrimination
  • Age discrimination
  • Racial discrimination
  • Disability discrimination
  • Religious discrimination

Discrimination means that you have been treated differently than other employees.

Forms Of Discrimination

In addition to these different types of discrimination, there are different ways that you can be discriminated against. These include the following:

  • Direct discrimination
  • Indirect discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Victimisation

We will look at each type of discrimination in more detail.

Direct Discrimination

This is fairly self explanatory, in that your employer treats you less favourably than another employee.

Indirect Discrimination

This occurs when you are discriminated against in the work place due to a working condition or rule that your employer has applied. This might include being forced to wear certain types of clothing or to have a clean shaven head which would put some religious groups at a disadvantage.


If you are made fun of or harassed at work, by your employer or by colleagues, so as to cause you embarrassment or offence, this can amount to harassment. The most common form of harassment is sexual harassment.


Victimisation occurs when you are treated less favourably than other employees. This might happen if other employees are consistently put forward for further training or social events.

Whatever type of discrimination you feel you have been the victim of, you should immediately raise the matter with your employer. You are entitled to have someone with you when you raise the matter with them and if subsequent disciplinary proceedings take place, you are entitled to have representation with you also.

If you do not believe your discrimination matter can be settled satisfactory, you should seek legal advice to explain your options.

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