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Discrimination in the Workplace: examples

In the modern workplace, diversity and inclusion are more than just buzzwords. They are essential elements that contribute to a healthy, productive environment. However, despite progress, discrimination remains a significant issue. Let’s delve into some real-life examples of discrimination, including a landmark case in the UK.





Examples of Discrimination


  1. Disability Discrimination: John, who uses a wheelchair, was not hired because the office is on the second floor with no lift.

  2. Sex Discrimination: Sarah was passed over for a promotion that was given to a less qualified male colleague.

  3. Religious Discrimination: Ahmed was excluded from team social events because he does not drink alcohol due to his religious beliefs.

  4. Pregnancy Discrimination: Maria, who is pregnant, was denied a job because the employer was concerned she would soon take maternity leave.

  5. Sexual Orientation Discrimination: Tom was teased and isolated by his colleagues because of his sexual orientation.

  6. Gender Identity Discrimination: Emily, a transgender woman, was not allowed to use the women’s restroom at her workplace.

  7. Age Discrimination: James, who is 60, was forced to retire because the company wanted a younger image.

  8. Race Discrimination: Chen, who is of Chinese descent, was not considered for a customer-facing role because of his accent.

  9. Equal Pay Discrimination: Fatima was paid less than her male colleagues for doing the same job.

  10. Disability Discrimination: Lisa, who has a visual impairment, was not provided with necessary software to perform her job.

  11. Disability Discrimination: Mike, who has a hearing impairment, was not provided with a sign language interpreter during meetings.

  12. Disability Discrimination: Jane, who has a learning disability, was not given reasonable adjustments to her workload.

  13. Disability Discrimination: Sam, who has a mental health condition, was treated unfairly because of stereotypes associated with his condition.

  14. Disability Discrimination: Anna, who has multiple sclerosis, was not allowed flexible working hours to manage her condition.

A Landmark Case: Mr C Borg-Neal vs Lloyds Banking Group PLC


One of the most notable cases of workplace discrimination in recent years is that of Mr C Borg-Neal vs Lloyds Banking Group PLC. Mr Borg-Neal, a long-standing employee of Lloyds Bank, was dismissed for using the N-word during a race education training session2. The bank acknowledged that Mr Borg-Neal did not intend to cause any hurt and that the question he asked was valid. However, they believed that he should have known better than to use the full word in a professional environment.


The tribunal ruled in favor of Mr Borg-Neal, stating that the bank had unfairly dismissed him and subjected him to discrimination arising from disability. The tribunal awarded Mr Borg-Neal a total compensation of £490,000.


Discrimination in the workplace is a serious issue that affects many people. It’s crucial for employers to understand the different forms of discrimination and take steps to prevent them. Remember, everyone has the right to be treated fairly and with respect in the workplace.

Please note that these are hypothetical examples and any form of discrimination is against the law in the UK. If you believe you have been discriminated against, you should seek legal advice.

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Can Canko

Employment, Contracts and Commercial Law

  • 17 years of legal experience

  • +500 case litigated (solo) globally

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  • +$15bn transactional experience

  • Civil and common law qualifications

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