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For example, if a manager promotes only men or gives the best assignments and shifts to employees who share his religious beliefs, that would be discrimination.
On the other hand, favoritism that's based on other factors may not be discriminatory, even if it's a sign of bad management.
If favoritism is rooted in discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, however, it crosses the line from poor management to illegal behavior.
Discrimination happens when employers make job decisions based on employees' protected characteristics -- traits that federal, state, or local governments have decided should not be the basis of employment actions.
A lawyer can review your case and determine whether favoritism has crossed the line from ineffective management to illegal behavior.Similarly, if a manager disfavors an employee (for example, by cutting back her hours, assigning her to the graveyard shift, or taking away prestigious clients) after she complains of harassment, that would also be illegal retaliation.For more information, see Can I Sue for Employee Favoritism?For example, if some employees receive better assignments or other job benefits because they put up with a manager's harassment, the other employees may still have a legal claim against the company.Because putting up with harassment is a condition of getting job benefits, employees may have a valid sexual harassment claim, whether or not they were directly subjected to harassment or went along with it.
At some point, this type of behavior crosses the line from unprofessional to illegal harassment, particularly if a number of employees are involved.