Workplace harassment and discrimination is all too common, and many workers do not take any action against this behavior. Some workers fear retaliation from their employers, such as termination. Others are unsure where to turn to speak up.
If you are suffering workplace discrimination, you should know that you have anti-discrimination protection under federal and state law. But to exercise those rights, you must take action. Here are three tips to help you understand the first steps if you want to take action against workplace discrimination:
1. Understand the type of discrimination you are facing
Federal law protects employees from many different types of discrimination in the workplace, including discrimination based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, and disability. You should clearly understand the type of discrimination you are facing to begin building your case.
2. Collect documentation of the discrimination
You should keep a clear and organized record documenting all the episodes of discrimination you face in the workplace. This includes all written communication, such as emails, text messages, letters, and the like. You should also keep a written record of any face-to-face meetings or interactions in which discrimination played a role. Keeping a record will help you when you need to prove your case.
3. Seek appropriate assistance
Once you feel you have gathered enough evidence and are ready to proceed in filing a claim against your employer, you need to determine where to take your case. While your company's human resources may be a viable place to start, it may also work against you by protecting your employer, so carefully evaluate whether this is the best option for you. You may need to seek out professional legal counsel to ensure you proceed in the most effective way.
Workplace discrimination is something that you can face and stand up to. Follow these initial steps, and then proceed with the help of an employment law attorney or the assistance of your company's human resources department. You do not have to tolerate workplace discrimination, and it is unlawful for your employer to retaliate against you.