How should employers handle discrimination complaints?

Discrimination by employers is against the law. They can’t discriminate against anyone working for them or those applying for a job with the company. When an employee is the subject of discrimination, they have the right to file a formal complaint. In most cases, they will attempt to address the situation by making a complaint to the employer.

Employers must handle these complaints appropriately. Employees might watch for a few points when they file a discrimination complaint.

Is the complaint being taken seriously?

Make sure that the person taking your complaint is documenting everything you say. They should ask you for witnesses and other pertinent information. They shouldn’t make generalized statements or try to explain away the actions of the person who was discriminating against you. The investigation should start right away and should be thorough. If no impartial party is present in the company, they should hire an independent investigator.

Are they acting on the complaint?

Depending on the severity and type of complaint, they may need to act quickly. One of the possible ways they can start to address the matter despite not being done with the investigation is making sure that the person who was subjected to discrimination and the person who was allegedly discriminating against them aren’t working at the same time or in the same area.

You may not see everything they’re doing to address the discrimination because they do have to keep some points of the investigation confidential. This is even more common in the early stages when they’re trying to find out exactly what happened. They don’t want people to start taking sides or corroborating stories.

One action they should never take is retaliation against the person who filed the complaint. Retaliation is any adverse employment action. As long as the complaint is factual, the complainant shouldn’t face any disciplinary action related to the complaint.

Never be afraid to speak up if you’re the victim of discrimination at work. Laws protect you from this type of behavior by an employer or its representatives. Legal action is possible when discrimination is present, so be sure you’re working with someone familiar with these matters.

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