Do you feel mistreated or unfairly targeted at work? You’re not alone. A significant majority of workers in the U.S. have encountered workplace discrimination at some point in their careers.
Given the pervasiveness of workplace discrimination, it helps to recognize the signs and take appropriate action to protect your legal rights. Here is what you need to do.
Recognize workplace discrimination
Discrimination can manifest in various ways. It may involve age, gender, race or other protected characteristics. For instance, if you are being paid less due to factors beyond your control or your employer denies a valid request to provide reasonable accommodations for a disability, it could indicate that you are suffering as a result of unlawful workplace discrimination. Identifying discriminatory practices will help you to respond accordingly.
Don’t quit without considering your options
When faced with discrimination, quitting may seem like the easiest way out. However, it’s important to stay put. Do not hand in a resignation letter unless it is absolutely necessary. Some employers look to avoid legal consequences by creating hostile environments that compel employees to resign. Seeking legal guidance before you quit can help you to better protect your interests.
Documentation is paramount in addressing workplace discrimination. Keep a detailed record of all incidents in a notebook, including dates, quotes, circumstances and any repercussions resulting from the discrimination. If possible, gather photographic evidence. Having tangible proof can strengthen your case and help to ensure your employer faces consequences for their actions.
Make formal written complaints
It is crucial to submit formal written complaints to your employer, even if you’re skeptical about their effectiveness. Creating a paper trail demonstrates your proactive efforts to address the issue.
Seek legal guidance
Workplace discrimination can derail your career path and wear you down physically and emotionally. The good news is that there are laws at both the federal and state levels that protect you from any form of unlawful discrimination. Therefore, it is best to seek legal assistance to assert your rights and learn more about what you can do to seek justice.