De Facto Discrimination Is Discrimination in Hidden Form

Fight Workplace Discrimination De Facto Discrimination Is Discrimination in Hidden Form

De Facto Discrimination Can Be as Dangerous as Overt Discrimination in the Workplace

The laws on discrimination in the workplace are clear and unequivocal—discrimination is illegal.

Even if your company is compliant according to the letter of the law, you may still experience discrimination at work through the customs, practices, and accepted behavior in the organization.

DoNotPay is here to help you recognize, understand, and address de facto discrimination in your company.


Workplace Discrimination Defined

Discrimination—treating someone differently due to their age, race, religion, gender, LGBTQ status, or disability—is illegal and can result in serious consequences for an employer if proven.

Many companies go to great lengths to avoid any accusation of discrimination, ensuring checks, audits, balances, and processes are in place to avoid falling foul of the law.

If your employer is found guilty of discrimination, the penalties can be significant, including:

  • Compensation for loss of earnings
  • Damages for psychological trauma
  • Punitive damages
  • Reimbursement of legal fees and court costs

The result is that many organizations install policies about, run training workshops on, and encourage active engagement with the subject of discrimination. In this way, they can often avoid legal action.

How To Define De Facto Discrimination

While companies have become adept at avoiding doing anything that directly contravenes the laws on discrimination, employment discrimination cases are still common.

In many instances, they revolve around company culture, accepted employee behavior, or ingrained ways of running a company that—sometimes unintentionally—lead to discrimination.

De facto discrimination refers to situations in which discrimination is allowed to take place—the discrimination happens in practice, although it is not actively caused by any policy or action on the company’s part.

Examples of De Facto Discrimination

Some de facto discrimination examples would be:

Type of Discrimination

De Facto Example

Racial discrimination The company offers separate canteens and meal times for shop floor workers (95% black and Hispanic) and office staff (predominantly white). De facto segregation is being practiced
Gender discrimination The company favors female candidates for administrative roles and male applicants for sales positions
Harassment The sales manager condones and takes part in inappropriate “locker room” talk with male sales reps within earshot of female colleagues, constituting sexual harassment
Disability discrimination While the company complies with all access and career-pathing regulations for disabled employees, they are encouraged not to apply for client-facing roles due to a perceived fear of how clients would react to them
Wage discrimination Machine operators performing the same task on the factory floor are each offered different remuneration packages, based solely on how well they negotiate at the interview
All forms of discrimination The company uses stereotype data to recruit, plan marketing drives, and run sales activities

Many cases of de facto discrimination are rooted in bias, prejudice, and perception. While they may not qualify as active discrimination, they contribute passively to a discriminatory atmosphere in a company.

Can You Do Anything About De Facto Discrimination?

De facto discrimination cases are seldom clear-cut and do not involve active flouting of anti-discrimination laws.

If you want to prove a case of de facto discrimination in an organization, your evidence will be the deciding factor as to whether your complaint will be upheld in court.

To stand a chance of proving a case of de facto discrimination, you need to:

  1. Check your company’s published anti-discrimination policies
  2. Report occurrences to HR and your supervisor
  3. Keep a detailed diary

Check Your Company’s Published Anti-Discrimination Policies

If your company publishes anti-discrimination policies, it is committing to fighting discrimination in the workplace.

Report Occurrences to HR and Your Supervisor

You should flag any incidents of discrimination to the HR department and your supervisor (unless your supervisor is involved in the discrimination). To ensure that a paper trail is created, you should insist that your reports are written down and logged by the HR department.

Keep a Detailed Diary

The more detailed your evidence, the better your chances of winning a lawsuit against your employer. You should note every incident of discrimination, including:

  • When it occurred
  • Who was involved
  • What exactly happened
  • Who witnessed the incident

If your employer is unwilling to deal with the de facto discrimination internally, your next recourse is to escalate the matter by filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC)DoNotPay can help you do this.

Filing a Complaint About De Facto Discrimination

The EEOC is the federal authority mandated to enforce anti-discrimination laws in the U.S.

If you want to launch a discrimination lawsuit against a company, you must first file a complaint—known as a charge of discrimination—with the EEOC. The Commission will investigate your complaint and decide whether to begin legal action against the company. Even if the EEOC decides not to litigate, you are still free to contact a discrimination lawyer and launch a private lawsuit.

How Can DoNotPay Help?

Filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC can be complicated and time-consuming, but DoNotPay can help you lodge your complaint in a flash if you follow these steps:

  1. Go to DoNotPay in your web browser and sign up
  2. Use the search function to find our Fight Workplace Discrimination product
  3. Fill in the details of your case

DoNotPay will collate all the details of your case and submit your complaint to the nearest EEOC office. The EEOC will then contact you to discuss your best course of action.

DoNotPay’s Other Resources for the Victims of Discrimination

Fighting discriminatory bosses and colleagues is not the only item on DoNotPay’s agenda. If your EEOC report doesn’t work out, explore the option of suing the perpetrator in small claims court with our help.

Those who experience full-blown hate crimes can use our platform to file for crime victims compensation or deal with insurance claims. Lost a job because of discrimination? Use DoNotPay to get help with bills, reduce your property taxes, or find any unclaimed assets in your name. 

We can also help you create numerous legal documents for personal, business, or real estate matters. You’ll have a chance to fax your paperwork or find an online notary in the same app!

Use Our App To Right Other Wrongs

Injustice lurks around every corner, and DoNotPay won’t have any of it. That’s why we keep creating tools and services to help you fight back against all kinds of unfair treatment. 

With our help, you’ll be able to:

There’s more where this came from because the good fight doesn’t stop here.


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