No one deserves to be discriminated against at work. When you leave home for your workplace, you get there to work and earn your dues. Unfortunately, some employers or individuals in positions of power treat their employees and subordinates unfairly.
Workplace discrimination refers to any unfair, and largely, prejudicial treatment of employees based on their characteristics such as gender, sexual orientation or race. If you are a victim of workplace discrimination, it is important that you fight for your rights.
Here are two steps you need to take if you are discriminated against at work.
Document the discrimination incidents
Anytime you are discriminated against at work, it is important that you keep a record of what happened. Even if you cannot demonstrate by action what transpired, consider documenting what you can remember. Some of the things you should include in your journal include:
- The specific discriminating act (statements they made regarding your gender, race or religion)
- Whether you reported the incident to a higher authority (if the discrimination was perpetrated by a supervisor)
- Any witnesses to the incident
If the discrimination happened in writing, you should work with your legal representative to put together the evidence necessary for litigating your case. Of course, credible evidence may be hard to put together, more so when the perpetrator is careful to avoid leaving a paper trail. Some of the evidence you may need to gather includes emails or phone recordings.
Once you are certain that you are a victim of workplace discrimination, you need to report the matter to the relevant government agency. In California, you will need to start by exhausting the administrative remedies before filing a lawsuit. For this, you will need to file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
If you are discriminated against at work, you need to protect your rights. Knowing your legal options can help you take appropriate actions to safeguard yourself while pursuing compensation for the resulting damages.