We all have been a victim to favoritism at work. Favoritism means exactly how it sounds. Sometimes we are not aware when work favoritism happens to us. Have you lost a promotion because of favoritism?
There is a famous phrase that permeates through the workplace and in our everyday lives. The phrase is "It is not what you know, but who you know."
What happened to promotion by merit?
As a young man I refused to believe favoritism in the workplace happens. I did not know I was naive. I think most people would say I was dumb to expect more.
I quickly learned that favoritism is rampant in some work environments and easily disguised.
Favoritism = the showing of special favor.
Favoritism related words
Cronyism and Nepotism are more specialized terms.
How does favoritism relate to these terms?
While cronyism and nepotism are closely related to favoritism they describe the type of favoritism.
Cronyism = refer to showing favoritism to friends or acquaints.
I know you have heard of the phrase Good Ol 'Boys. The term cronyism derives from this behavior. It has gone on for centuries.
A good example of this behavior is when politicians return privileges to those who helped them get elected. The politician offers a position to one of his friends or he relaxes laws to help his colleagues.
Do you think cronyism is ethical?
Would you continue to support a politician if they were found guilty of cronyism?
Do you believe cronyism is the way things get done in Washington DC?
Nepotism = returns to the favoritism shown to relatives. The term comes from the Latin word nepos meaning nephew.
I almost expect to lose a job to a relative. It may not be fair but employers are smart enough not to show they hired a person because of nepotism.
On the other hand I would report work favoritism if it was obvious. I would hate to work for the boss's son or close relative. I could never really trust him.
Most of the time it will be you who gets reassigned to another job if a problem arises.
Have you ever worked for a boss's son?
If a relative were hired instead of you, would you make a noise or continue to be a loyal employee?
Can you name another environment where favoritism happens?
How can we fight favoritism?
Do you believe there are good reasons for showing favoritism?
If you were the benefactor of favoritism, how would you feel morally?
Have you ever reported favoritism?
The bottom-line is that no matter what level of favoritism; If it's based on race, gender, religion it is illegal. The EEOC has laws protecting us against workplace favoritism.
If you feel you are a victim of workplace favoritism, you should file a grievance with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The EEOC is responsible for all discrimination in the workplace. Make sure you check with your job to see if you have a local representative.
The representative can help walk you through the grievance process or help you resolve the problem.
Keep in mind that nobody can stop you from filing a grievance with the EEOC. If you are discouraged from filing, then you may have another lawsuit.
If you are uncomfortable speaking to a co-worker you can contact an EEOC counselor.
Your employer has violated your rights if they retaliate against you for filing.
Do we expect favoritism at work?
I hope this article helps someone and informs you that you have rights even at work.