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Have I been discriminated against by my boss?
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Have I been discriminated against by my boss?

More than once I have been discriminated against by my boss, yet I don't know which of the instances may have broken common anti-discrimination policy/rules. Here are the instances, could anyone tell me if any of these or all may be grounds for legal action? Thanks

1st time - I am Catholic and went to church for Ash Wednesday service. On Ash Wednesday the priest draws a cross with ash on one's forehead, which we keep on our foreheads all day. Upon return to work I caught my boss telling someone else (he thought I could not hear): "I don't agree with what John Doe (me) has on his forehead. He should do that in private..." then he stopped when he noticed that I was listening and he got red in the face and stopped. I felt attacked and violated

2nd time - (By the way, I'm of white race but am from Argentina, so I am "culturally Hispanic") During a field visit my boss pointed to a woman working in a warehouse and said "you should marry her" and I asked "what?" and he said "Well, she's Hispanic"

3rd time - My boss gave me a book on "how to dress" and told me that I should dress better for the work place (I always wear business casual, which is the company's dress code)

I have lost my respect for this person, and don't feel welcome at my job because of his comments, yet everyone else is nice, so I haven't resigned. Yet, I want to be prepared and just want to know if I have enough grounds before I contact an attorney. Any advice would be extremely appreciated. Thank you very much in advance!


Technically no. I understand your feelings though. You need to understand that the best way to handle this is to go and talk to him. Tell him that you feel he is being unkind with his remarks then if it continues go to the EEO representative at your work. You have the burden of proof and in a he said situation, denial will get him off from any liability.
The other thing you can do is to ask him politely if you can tape the conversation. If he says no, don't. If he says yes, do it.
As a manager I always wondered what the cross on the forehead was until I asked. He may not know. All the Catholics where I work wear them on Ash Wednesday and we have a special service for them.
Another item - what do you class as business casual. Where I work it is dress pants and shirt, socks and shoes. No tennis shoes or sports shirts. Make sure you check your company's policy before you speak with him.

Grow up and get a different job if you don't like it.

Thats the problem with people they want the legal system to solve everyones problems - and your problem is your thin skin

You work with a guy everyday for years of course he will make you mad at some point - GET OVER IT

James W S Parker
Wow, goodness me; you really are in a situation here.
This is what I advise, get a dictation and record all vocals around you.
You need to approach your boss in a civilised, kind and positive manner and ask him in which you could improve your performance.
Ask for his opinions, and remember; show positive attitude, even if he is negative against you.

You need to convince him, that you have a good part in the company and your beliefs won't interfere with the company in any way.

Good luck, record with a dictaphone though, just in case there are problems; and then you can use it as proof, create backups too!

Honestly, that doesn't sound like discrimination...yet. I would just document everything and keep it in safe place (not on your work computer). Be kind to your boss and do your job to the best of your ability. Unless he discriminates in ways that cause you to be reprimanded when others aren't, lose pay, work more hours, promotes other less qualified people than you, stuff like that, he is really just being ignorant not discriminatory.

If he says things like "you should marry her she's Hispanic" politely say, I don't appreciate that comment...or laugh it off. It's up to you how you handle it. You can choose to show your offended, or you can choose to show you are bigger than him.

sounds like you are too whiney. get over it. grow up or quit.

Amanda K
You should check out a website called PEDOL. They might help you on this.

Reminds me of high school.

Wow! I am very surprised at this day and age that all of you have answered incorrectly. This is definantly a protected catogory of discrimination with race, and cultural religion. All of you need to take a class in discrimination 101. So just becuase he is a man, he should take it and ignore these horrible comments. It doesn't matter if a women works in a mans field, the conduct is inappropriate and discriminating and makes you feel uncomfortable and will continue until you make it stop. You have a few options. You can discuss this with the supervisor who is making these comments, file a discrimination complaint with your human resources office or file a complaint with EEOC. One thing you need to be prepared for is retaliation which will definantly happen. Be prepared if you take this avenue. Document everything, email is the best document, and always check your surroundings for witnesses that can be subpoenaed in court, having witnesses and email documentation is good evidence. I would also suggest to go to the eeoc website and familiarize yourself with this, lots of information is available. I would also suggest for your employer to conduct mandatory training classes with discrimination. I work for the goverment and this is not acceptable for anyone.

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