An employer may never tell you that you were denied a job or a promotion because you’re unattractive. On the other side, your employer may never mention that you were only hired because he or she does find you physically attractive. However, there is evidence to suggest that this is exactly what goes on in the workplace.
For example, those who are considered more physically attractive have been found, in certain studies, to make more money. This suggests — though there are many factors in play here — that it may be easier for them to get promotions or land high-paying jobs.
Unless something is directly said about your attractiveness, though, it can be hard to prove you’re being discriminated against on those grounds. However, it’s important to know that there are keys ways that appearance-based discrimination can be illegal.
For instance, if the attraction that a person feels is based on race, it could then become racial discrimination. If a white employer mentions that he or she is not attracted to African American individuals, for example, and only hires other white employees, that could be clear racial discrimination. The employer may not even realize it and would tell you that he or she is not biased, but this has still crossed a line if it means that certain races are being given less of a chance at employment based on the way that they look.
This type of discrimination may be hard to spot, which is why you must know what legal options you have when you feel it exists. Remember that all employees are supposed to have equal rights, no matter their race, gender, or age.
Source: Business Insider, “7 Surprising Ways Your Company Can Still Discriminate Against You,” Aaron Taube, accessed Oct. 20, 2016