Discrimination in the Hiring and Promotional Process

Every year there are over ninety thousand complaints of workplace discrimination and harassment. These complaints go to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission so that they can investigate them and seek recourse for the damaged employees. The number of complaints has risen in recent years and this leads one to ask the question: Are there more instances of discrimination and harassment, or are more people recognizing and coming forward with complaints?

Discrimination in the Hiring and Promotional Process

And if more people are coming forward, how do they know when to come forward? Below are two common areas of employment discrimination that often go unnoticed: discrimination in the hiring and promotional process.

Discrimination in the Hiring Process

Have you ever had a terrific interview and then wondered why you did not get the job? Or have you ever had a terrible interview and could not understand why it went bad?

The answer may be that the interviewer had a discriminatory purpose for not granting you the job. Oftentimes people will simply move on to the next job and write it up as a bad interview. But federal law gives you recourse against the non-hiring employer and it may be worth investigating.

Analyze the Interview

Think about the interview and ask yourself if the interviewer left clues that may point to some discriminatory purpose.

  • Did the interviewer ask you about your race?
  • Inquire too much about your disabilities?
  • Make disparaging comments about your gender or about sex in general?

If they did, you may have enough evidence to bring a discrimination case against them. Remember, discrimination can happen in the hiring process, even if you never got hired. It does not occur only in the workplace. Keep this in mind during your interviews.

Discrimination in the Promotional Process

Although many people recognize this, it can be hard to spot. This type of discrimination occurs when an employee is passed over for a promotion because of their race, gender, religion or other protected category. The employee must be otherwise qualified for the promotion.

Many employees may think that they do not deserve a promotion, so they may sit silently while other employees are promoted over them. But if there are clues that you are being denied because of your race or gender you may want to contact an attorney. This type of discrimination need not be obvious.

Obvious discrimination would be where a supervisor makes racist comments to you. However, it can happen when you are a woman and only men are being promoted or if you are an African American and only Caucasian employees are being promoted. If such things are happening in your workplace promotion process, it is worth contacting an attorney to find out if you have recourse available.

Don’t Allow Discrimination to Go Undetected

Discrimination in the hiring and promotional process can often go undetected. Be on the lookout during and interviews and when others are getting promoted to ensure you are not being discriminated against. Protect your employee rights and be aware of subtle discrimination.


Chat with an employment attorney: (412) 626-5626 or lawyer@lawkm.com.