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Workplace exclusion can constitute discrimination

Those who have been discriminated against often feel alone and isolated. They may feel as though they have done something wrong to be excluded in such a way, but it is often the case that they have been intentionally ostracized from the group.

If you are feeling alone in your workplace and feeling unsupported, you should take the time to consider whether workplace discrimination could be at play. The following is an overview of how workplace discrimination can fuel exclusion.

What is exclusion?

Exclusion can take many forms, but it often includes failing to involve people in activities or interactions. For example, if a team lunch is taking place and one member of the team is purposely not invited, this can be a form of exclusion. A person may also feel excluded because their co-workers do not involve them in business meetings, social interactions or in making decisions. Exclusion can have significant harmful consequences for an employee's future in the workplace, since these meetings and other interactions can be important networking opportunities and ways in which employees can raise their profile in the workplace. Those who are excluded from these opportunities may find their career gets stalled compared to their colleagues who were able to participate in these opportunities.

How can it be fueled by workplace discrimination?

Exclusion is never acceptable in the working environment and it may be a result of workplace discrimination. If you want to make a workplace discrimination claim based on your exclusion, you will need to show that the perpetrators were excluding you because of a protected characteristic or in retaliation for your prior attempts to report or protest discrimination. For example, if you believe that your sexual orientation was the reason for your exclusion, you will likely be successful in your claim as long as you have sufficient evidence.

If you believe that your career or mental health is suffering as a result of being excluded in the workplace, you should consider whether you have grounds to file a workplace discrimination or retaliation claim.

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