Facing discrimination in the workplace is a difficult and stressful situation. Discrimination can take a number of forms, from discrimination based on race to national origin to sexual orientation to pregnancy and more. If you are facing discrimination in the workplace, you should know that you have rights, and those rights are being infringed upon by whoever is committing discriminatory acts. If you believe you are being unlawfully discriminated against, here’s what you can do:
- Make your employer aware that discrimination has occurred. Oftentimes, these illegal acts go unnoticed or unpunished by higher-ups in companies because the victims are too afraid to speak out. If the person who is unlawfully discriminating against you is your direct superior, don’t be afraid to speak to someone higher up.
- Tell your employer that not only do you believe discrimination is occurring, but that you intend to take the matter seriously. Demand that each incident of reported discrimination is written down and ask for an investigation to take place. Should the investigation turn up evidence that unlawful discrimination has occurred, corrective and disciplinary actions should be taken against the perpetrators.
- If your employer fails to take you seriously, contact the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which oversees compliance for many anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws. You may also consider contacting your state agency.
- Keep your own records of the incidents. Dates, times, locations, who was involved, witnesses and details of improper conduct should be written down. Keep any physical objects that may show discrimination as well, such as notes or pictures left.
- Discuss the incidents in a free, no obligation consultation with an employment law attorney in your area.