How to Address Reverse Discrimination in the Workplace

Reverse discrimination is just as unlawful as "standard" discrimination.

Reverse discrimination is just as unlawful as "standard" discrimination.

Reverse discrimination is a form of discrimination against a member of a majority. While there are still perceptions that discrimination laws apply only to minority groups, they actually encompass everyone. Protected factors, such as race, sex, gender, religion or national origin, all fall within these laws. For this reason, a victim of reverse discrimination has legal recourse. But just being part of the majority doesn't mean discrimination has taken place; you must prove preferential treatment of a minority group.

Document all incidents of discrimination. Note the dates, times, locations and those involved with the discriminatory practices. Stick with the specifics, and avoid being vague with the details.

Save any documents or other materials that demonstrate discrimination – be it an email, text, bulletin or voicemail. If, for example, you find a discriminatory document in a public place at work, consider taking a photograph of it before removing and saving the offensive material.

Talk to a human resources representative and provide copies of all documents pertaining to the situation. Request that a written report be made, and inform her that you’re taking the matter seriously.

Give your employer time to investigate the discriminatory practices and correct the situation. Review any anti-discrimination policies in your company’s employee handbook to ensure the organization follows the printed guidelines, especially when it comes to the repercussions of such actions.

Contact a lawyer specializing in discriminatory law if your employer fails to respond or take action in regard to your complaint. Employers are legal bound to investigate all discrimination complaints – including those of reverse discrimination.


  • Falsely reporting reverse discriminatory practices could result in serious repercussions, so make sure discrimination is actually taking place. For example, just because a minority is promoted over you, it doesn’t mean you’ve been discriminated against. Preferential treatment must exist.

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About the Author

Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Dana Severson has been writing marketing materials for small-to-mid-sized businesses since 2005. Prior to this, Severson worked as a manager of business development for a marketing company, developing targeted marketing campaigns for Big G, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, among others.

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