Sometimes the workplace isn’t as fair as it should be and employees feel the weight of this. Employment discrimination occurs when you get unfair treatment at work due to your race, gender, sexual orientation, or health status. For example, if you don’t get hired for a job you qualify for because you are a woman.
Keep reading for information on what to do if you are experiencing employment discrimination.
How To Recognize Employment Discrimination
It may be hard to prove that you are being discriminated against at work. This is why you must know how to recognize discrimination. One of the clearest signs of discrimination is if you hear a decision-maker saying derogatory remarks against people of a certain demographic.
You may also notice that qualified people from that demographic don’t get hired or promoted. These signs combined would point to discrimination.
In some cases, employers ask hiring managers to prevent people from certain demographics from qualifying for a job. They could do this by using methods that seem legal but are discriminatory. For example by requiring applicants to speak foreign languages that are not needed for a position.
You can also tell if you are being discriminated against if you get fired for no valid reason. If you have had great performance reviews and then get fired for lack of performance, this could point to discrimination.
Another common example of employment discrimination is a hostile work environment. For example, if colleagues bully, threaten, or call you derogatory terms. They may also refuse to give you the resources you need to complete tasks. Sexual harassment is also another kind of discrimination that makes work untenable.
Please note that for some religious entities, discrimination may be allowed. Religious organizations can give hiring preference to followers of their religion. This is based on the fifth amendment of the US constitution and the federal employment non-discrimination law.
Steps To Take When Experiencing Employment Discrimination
The first thing you should do when experiencing employment discrimination is to talk to someone you trust about it. Unfair treatment at work can be very distressing. So it’s good to discuss your concerns with someone that can confirm that your concerns are valid.
At work, seek allies that are sympathetic to your situation as they can be an ear to vent your frustrations to. In case you need to file a complaint, they can also act as credible witnesses to your case.
You can also follow the below steps to combat unlawful discrimination at work.
1. Document The Discrimination
Whenever you experience discrimination at work you should keep documentary evidence of it. The best way to do so is to keep a written journal that details any discriminatory events that have taken place. Write down the date and time, any witnesses that were present and a factual account of what took place.
You can also collect photos, videos and audio recordings of the occurrences. Additionally, try and get a copy of your personnel files if it won’t create a problem for you at work. Whenever you receive congratulations for a job well done, file these in your personal files to use as proof of your work performance record in cases of unfair dismissal.
Remember to store all your evidence at home or in your personal email folders. Your employer may suddenly revoke all your access to company data. Always keep a copy of your employee manual and policies in your personal files. This way, you can refer to them in the future if you want to file a suit against your employer.
2. Seek Legal Advice
You should seek legal advice to establish whether you have a case against your employer. If you have financial challenges, seek pro-bono legal advice. Additionally, there are law firms that charge a fee based on how much you can expect to win from a lawsuit.
When choosing a lawyer or firm to represent you, look for those that have experience in the type of discrimination you are facing. They should have deep knowledge about discrimination laws as well as arguments that could be used against you to debunk your case.
3. Report The Discrimination
Another step you can take is to report any discrimination you may be facing through your employer’s grievance procedure. Always make your complaint in writing and keep copies of all the responses you receive in your personal files. You may need these in case you decide to sue your employer for discrimination.
4. File A Lawsuit
The final step you can take to combat discrimination at work is filing a lawsuit against your employer. Other than the equal pay act, all the other laws enforced by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires that you file a charge with them before you can file a lawsuit against unlawful discrimination. There is a time limit within which you can file a charge with the EEOC, usually 180 days.
Call the EEOC at 1-800-669-4000 to speak with a representative that will guide you on the best way to file your charge. They will be able to let you know how much time you have to file your charge and whether the EEOC is the best agency to use to pursue your lawsuit.
It is always advisable to get lawsuit advice from a lawyer before pursuing this step. The lawyer will help you see if you have a case and whether you should file a lawsuit. They will also give you the best guidance on how to file a lawsuit.
What To Do If You Are Experiencing Employment Discrimination
Employees sometimes get unfair treatment because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, or even health status. Experiencing employment discrimination can be very distressing and many people don’t know what to do in such situations. If you are experiencing discrimination at work the first thing you should do is speak with someone you trust about it.
Some of the steps one may take after experiencing employee discrimination include seeking legal advice, documenting the discrimination, reporting the discrimination, and filing a lawsuit. If you need assistance with pre-settlement funding for your discrimination case, file a claim today.