We may not realize it, but workplace discrimination is more common than we think. Workplace discrimination is something a company should try to avoid. It is something that can hurt the company’s reputation and have a negative effect on the people involved. Careers have come to a halt due to the horrors of workplace discrimination.
So how do you deal with workplace discrimination? What can you do if you have unfortunately been the victim of workplace discrimination?
This comprehensive guide will show you what to do.
Fighting Against Workplace Discrimination
The first thing to do is to make sure you always have funds for a lawsuit. If you decide to file a lawsuit, it will be costly. You may want to look into lawsuit funding if you do not have the funds on hand.
Here’s what else you need to know:
1. Keep Documents and Records
You should keep records of every form of discrimination that has happened to you. If you were physically harassed by a colleague, for example, document this encounter on a sheet of paper. You will have to provide as much detail as possible.
It is imperative that you keep an account of every incident of workplace discrimination that has happened. If you experienced verbal abuse due to your sex, race, religion, national origin, etc. make sure you document this.
If you have to file a lawsuit, you will be required to recall these incidents. It’s best to record them in detail at the earliest instance.
2. Speak To Your Supervisor
Before jumping into a lawsuit, it is always best to settle a matter out of court. If you find that your colleague(s) are constantly discriminating against you, speak to your supervisor first.
Explain the situation to them. They can have a discussion with the colleague(s) involved and work out any differences. If all goes well, workplace discrimination will stop. If it persists, you may need to have discussion with your supervisor and find out if they have workplace harassment prevention training programs to guide you through in the future.
If you find that the situation continues to persist even after several discussions with your supervisor, then you would have to settle the issue within a court. It may be that your supervisor is unable to handle the situation or that they are negligent.
3. Find Support Among Colleagues
You should also consider finding support among your colleagues. Your colleagues can help you confront the other colleagues who are engaging in workplace discrimination. For example, if you feel you were passed on a promotion or a raise because of your background you may find sympathy and support among your colleagues who can vouch for you.
If the discrimination is coming from your supervisor (or any higher up) then your colleagues are your best chance for standing up against workplace discrimination.
There is always strength in numbers, so if you have colleagues with whom you can confide in, you can let them know about the workplace discrimination you have endured. If they have witnessed the discrimination, they can come to your aid or serve as a witness if a court case ensues.
4. Study Your Legal Rights
Before you threaten a lawsuit or hire an attorney, you need to study your legal rights. All states have to adhere to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Each state will also have its own particular laws regarding workplace discrimination.
You need to make sure that the discrimination you are facing is indeed legally defined as a form of discrimination. You should take this time to do research on previous cases that involved the form of workplace discrimination you are facing.
There might be court cases you can study and/or news articles about workplace discrimination you have faced. You should also use this time to consult with an attorney to discuss the workplace discrimination that you have experienced.
5. File A Report
When you are ready to bring up your case, you should file a report with your company’s HR department. You can ask your supervisor to help you prepare this case.
In your report, you must provide all the details that you previously documented. You should also outline how you tried to fight against this discrimination to no avail. The HR department will evaluate this report and discuss your case with you.
You have to be prepared that the HR department might dismiss your claim altogether. If they do, then your next step is to seek help elsewhere. You should go directly to the Equal Opportunity Commission and present your case to them.
6. Hire An Attorney
If your employer didn’t help you resolve your workplace discrimination or they are the ones who are discriminating against you, then its time to return to your attorney and hire them as legal counsel.
Your attorney will help you present your case to a court. They will be able to outline how you were wrongfully discriminated against. They will also prepare a case for what you are owed such as compensation, punitive damages, lost pay, lost benefits, etc.
If you win the court case, not only will you receive justice for wrongful workplace discrimination but it will put pressure on the company to be more vigilant in fighting against workplace discrimination in the future. You may be asked to be more involved in your company, or any future company to fight against workplace discrimination.
7. Encourage Anti-Discrimination
You want to help your company be more vigilant toward fighting against workplace discrimination. For example, you can give training seminars where you discuss the workplace harassment you encountered and how it can be avoided in the future.
You can train an HR department to recognize any possible harassment and to reach out to employees to make sure there is a friendly work environment. You want to make sure the work environment is fun and relaxed and that if anyone’s personal boundaries are crossed, that they feel safe to discuss it.
You can also teach a company how to prepare a procedure to address any workplace discrimination.
Fight Against Discrimination
Now that you know how to handle workplace discrimination, we wish you the best of luck if you have to make a case. Make sure you strive to make the workplace more welcoming.
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