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Is Favoritism in the Workplace Discrimination?

The idea of working your way to the top is a big part of the American Dream. The idea is that no matter where you start, with hard work and a little pluck, you too can get that corner office someday. However, things don't always work out that way. Especially discouraging is when you are working just as hard-or harder-than your coworkers and get overlooked. Maybe it's because you don't take enough credit. Or maybe your coworker really is just knocking it out of the park. But sometimes, it's just favoritism. Favoritism can feel a lot like discrimination in that it's not fair treatment. But when does favoritism become discrimination?

Favoritism differs from discrimination when it's not based on characteristics that are protected by law, such as race, religion, nationality, sex, age or disability. Favoritism may be based on similar interests, the love of certain sports teams, being from the same part of the country, or any number of other non-work related attributes. However, as long as the special treatment isn't because the individual is a certain religion, sex, race, age or other protected trait, it's not discrimination, its just lousy management.

However, if you have acted as a whistleblower or reported illegal conduct or actions to management and then find yourself out of favor with your employer, that could be viewed as retaliation. Any kind of adverse action, such as cutting hours, reassignment, or demotion following a legal complaint could be evidence that you are the victim of retaliation.

If you have been the target of workplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination, Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings.

Our attorneys have more than 35 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. Call Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. at 304.523.8451 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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