Five Steps You Can Take if You’re the Victim of Discrimination at Work
Discrimination in the workplace is never acceptable.
If you’re the victim of discrimination like gender discrimination, age discrimination, disability discrimination, or wrongful termination, to name just a few types, you should take appropriate action to deal with it.
Here are five steps you can take.
1. Report the Discrimination to Your Employer and Ensure Each Incident Is Recorded
If you’re being discriminated against by a coworker or manager, the first thing you should do is let your employer know.
Even if it’s your boss that’s discriminating against you, it’s important you tell him or her. Your employer is responsible for complying with discrimination laws. Make it clear that the discrimination is occurring and is unacceptable to ensure your personal rights are protected.
You should also make it crystal clear that you’re taking the matter seriously. Ask your employer to write a report every time you report an incident of discrimination and ask for an investigation to be undertaken into your allegations of discrimination.
Disciplinary or corrective action then needs to be taken by your employer against the individuals who are found to have discriminated against you. And remember: your employer is legally required to promptly address all reports of discrimination and harassment.
It can also be valuable to review federal and state laws with regards to discrimination so that you know what your rights are. You can find them online or at a library.
2. Consult a Sympathetic and Specialist Lawyer
If you receive no response from your employer or your employer fails to take the relevant action, you should get in touch with a lawyer who specializes in employment law and discrimination cases.
He or she can then explain your legal options and help you to defend your rights.
For instance, the employment lawyers at Haeggquist & Eck are fearless and compassionate litigators who can evaluate your case for free and represent you in a court case.
3. Keep a Diary of Discrimination Incidents
One of the reasons you need your employer to write a report each time you report an incident of discrimination is it can help you prove your case later on.
If you get a lawyer on board to help you win your case against the discriminator at your workplace, the attorney can use those reports as evidence.
It also makes sense to keep a diary of each discriminatory incident, to back up the written reports.
Any time you experience and report an act of discrimination, record it in a diary or notebook, recording the date, the approximate time of the incident, the location, the details of what happened, and any witnesses that were present.
4. Keep Any Objects That Are Involved in Discrimination Incidents
If the discrimination incidents you experience involve any objects, make sure you keep them, as unpleasant as that could be.
Objects associated with incidents of discrimination can be just as vital in proving your case as written records.
For instance, another employee could tape a hate note to your desk or send you a photograph of their genitalia. Keep such items so that they can be used as evidence later on.
5. Retain a Copy of Your Company’s Anti-discrimination Policy
Another thing you should keep hold of is your company’s anti-discrimination policy; if there is one. You will typically find it in the employee handbook.
Although all companies must abide by laws relevant to discrimination and harassment, many businesses have their own anti-discrimination policies in place. Retaining a copy of the policy could serve to benefit your case.