Types of Employment Discrimination

When jobs are scarce–and despite all the positive trending jobs reports recently, they are–there are a number of reasons job seekers lose out on employment, but is discrimination one of them? A couple weeks ago we discussed discrimination against unemployed job seekers, and what lawmakers are doing to combat it. There are, however, a number of different types of discrimination job seekers face. We’ll tackle a few of them, and some tips and organizations which are helping to fight discrimination for job seekers.

One type of employment discrimination making the news recently targets transgender job seekers. A 2011 study shows that unemployment among the transgender community was at about 14%, nearly double the unemployment rate for the U.S. Homelessness, as well, is higher among the transgender population. A number of transgender job seekers told stories of being discriminated against in their job search. To help combat discrimination, and keep transgender individuals on their feet, the LGBT Community Center in San Francisco and The Chicago House are offering job training programs, resume help, and even styling tips.

Age discrimination, too, has been a particularly prominent form of discrimination for older job seekers. Boston College researchers have labeled the over-50 job seeker crowd as the “new unemployables.” This group, researchers say, is too young to retire, and often too old to find new work. What, then, can older job seekers do to combat age discrimination? Forbes offers some tips, including not running from the issue.

Traditional forms of discrimination are also still prominent for job seekers. We recently discussed the gender gap in a number of professions; with even the tv show ‘Suits’ spending a majority of its latest episode run tackling gender discrimination in the workforce. Across the pond, Virgin Atlantic faced a race-based job discrimination suit last month.

Discrimination can often be difficult to take action against, as someone’s motives for not hiring a candidate are difficult to prove. With so many people applying to each job, fighting your failed candidacy on charges of discrimination is not only tough to prove, but may also make you a less viable candidate to other employers. Luckily, there are organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the aforementioned LGBT Community Center in San Francisco which fight to protect job seekers against workforce discrimination. Progress is being made, but with a tight job market those being discriminated against feel the pinch even more.

Have you ever been treated differently, or less favorably, in your job search? Tell us your thoughts on employment discrimination in the comments below.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Brett Jordan

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