Is being shunned and purposely made to feel as an outcast in a group, discrimination?

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Is being shunned and purposely made to feel as an outcast in a group, discrimination?

I work for a company as a sub but I represent that company. I am the only sub in a group of 10, the rest work directly for the prime. Aside from just cold shoulders and such, at least 3-4 days a week the Supervisor at our job site takes all the employees to lunch on the company dime. I am the only person not asked and have never been in 1.5 years. Is this discrimination? I am part of the group but am only a sub for that company so they can meet a minority involevement requirement although I personally am not a minority, I do work for one.

Asked on July 9, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, employers and coworkers may be cruel and unfair to employees and such is legal; there is also no requirement to include employees or make them feel welcome. The exception would be if you could trace the treatment to discrimination against you because of a protected characteristic, such as your race, religion, age over 40, sex, or disability.

If you are non-minority, your supervisor is a minority, and the co-workers who go to lunch, etc. are also minorities, that may represent illegal racial discrimination or harassment, and you should speak with an employment law attorney to discuss the matter in greater depth. But if other non-minority employees go to lunch and are among those that shun you, then it is highly unlikely you could make out a case for racial discrimination/harassment, since in that instance, race does not appear to be the dispositive factor.


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