Favoritism as Discrimination

This scenario has to be familiar to a many minorities in highly competitive, high-skills jobs: When you first start out at work, everything seems great. Sure, you may be one of very few black people/Asian people/women/gay people at your job, but everyone treats you well and you get assigned lots of interesting projects. Then the firm starts asking you to attend diversity events, and starts asking — i.e., requiring — diverse associates or employees to go to every conference, every client meeting, every wine-and-dine event. All of the partners or managers want to show how diverse their company or firm has become, and they cannot get enough of you!

You want to work hard on two or three or four projects, like everyone else, and really develop your skills and deepen your knowledge, but you never get the chance. Because your employer wants to make it seem as if your office is a diverse environment, you find yourself stretched thin across nearly every project or case on the books, attending meetings with more clients than your peers, and sitting with your bosses at formal dinners. You end up with more work than your non-diverse co-workers, but you do not get more pay.

Does this count as discrimination? Yes, absolutely. Discrimination occurs when an employer treats you differently because of your:
<ul>
<li>Sex</li>
<li>Gender</li>
<li>Race</li>
<li>Marital status</li>
<li>Military status</li>
<li>Physical disability</li>
</ul>
Whenever that different treatment makes your job harder, regardless of how, that different treatment is a prohibited discriminatory practice. <a href=”http://www.dhr.ny.gov/doc/hrl.pdf”>New York City</a>, <a href=”http://www.dhr.ny.gov/doc/hrl.pdf”>New York state</a>, and federal laws all prohibit this sort of discrimination. If you feel that your employer penalizes you for your membership in any protected minority — whether that happens because your employer does not give you enough work or gives you too much — you should speak with a <a href=”http://www.akinandsmith.com/aop/new-york-discrimination/”>seasoned employment discrimination attorney</a> about whether filing a discrimination claim makes sense for you.

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