What to Do If You Experience Workplace Discrimination
Workplace discrimination can be extremely traumatic, and it may seem like there is nowhere to turn if you experience it. However, there are several things that you can do to protect your rights and take action against the offending party. Here are some tips for handling workplace discrimination:
1. Document everything that happens.
Write down or record any incidents of workplace discrimination that you experience, including the time and date. Write down exactly what was said or done by whom and include any other pertinent details. Be sure to include things like written communications, emails, or even conversations you have overheard. If there are witnesses to the incidents, make sure to get their contact information as well.
You can use this information later if needed for legal actions, such as filing a complaint or seeking damages.
2. Talk to your supervisor or HR representative about the incident(s).
If you feel comfortable doing so, report the incident to your supervisor or HR representative as soon as it happens. This will ensure that your employer is aware of the situation and can take action accordingly. It also gives you an opportunity to file a formal complaint if necessary.
3. File a complaint with the EEOC.
If your workplace discrimination is related to age, race, gender identity, religion, disability status, or other protected categories under federal anti-discrimination laws, you may be able to file a formal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or similar agencies in your state. Learn more about these laws and what they mean for you, so that you can be prepared to take action if necessary.
If you decide to file a complaint with the EEOC, they will investigate your claim and determine whether there is enough evidence to prove that discrimination occurred. If they find that discrimination did take place, they will work with your employer to try to resolve the issue.
If you are not satisfied with the way your employer handles your complaint, or if the EEOC does not find enough evidence to prove discrimination occurred, you may have the option of filing a lawsuit. This is a complicated process, and you should consult with an experienced employment lawyer before taking this step.
4. Consider seeking legal help if needed.
If the discrimination continues and/or you feel that nothing is being done to remedy the situation, consider seeking professional legal help. A discrimination attorney can assist you in filing a formal complaint with your employer or taking other legal action, such as suing for damages.
5. Seek counseling or support if needed.
Discrimination can be a very traumatic experience, and it is important to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. Seek out counseling or support groups if you need help dealing with the stress and trauma of workplace discrimination.
Protect Yourself and Others
Dealing with workplace discrimination is never easy, but by taking action and standing up for your rights, you can help protect yourself from this harmful behavior and work to create a more equitable workplace for all. By documenting what has happened and filing a complaint, you can help ensure that discrimination does not occur in your workplace.