• Tips for Dealing with Discrimination at the Workplace

    Tips for Dealing with Discrimination at the Workplace

    Posted on November 17, 2017 by Neil Durkin Law Offices

    Whether you are facing discrimination or other harassment in the workplace, it is unacceptable for any employee to work in an environment that is hostile. However, even with the moral and legal issues that surround harassment and discrimination, it still happens in the workforce even today. When someone is targeted or made uncomfortable due to their race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability, pregnancy or age, what should the person being discriminated against do?

    While it can be tempting to simply leave your position, this puts the person being discriminated against at an unfair advantage. After all, the person who would be leaving was not the one to create the hostile work environment and should therefore not have to leave, which could put them in a financial bond. Before deciding to leave without the option to file for unemployment, there are other steps that can first be taken.

    Professionally Handle Discrimination

    Before walking out the door or creating a scene, there are a few steps to follow to ensure you are protected legally during this issue.

    1. Inform your employer of the behavior. When possible, ensure there is some type of documentation that you have made a complaint. Be as specific as possible. Rather than saying a coworker makes you uncomfortable, let your employer know the exact offending remarks and behavior. Be clear that the behavior is unwelcomed and unacceptable. In many cases, the employer won’t be too quick to file any papers against the worker in an attempt to resolve the issue internally.
    2. Reinforce how serious the situation is. If they do not prove one, ask for a copy of the report of the incident of discrimination or harassment. Also, ask for an investigation into the matter and request some type of corrective action be taken, whether it is against the employee or in the form of a new policy. Be sure your employer understands you are taking the matter seriously.
    3. Consider contacting the EEOC. This federal entity is in charge of overseeing compliance with anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws aimed at the workplace. Contacting the government will show your employer very quickly how serious the situation is.
    4. Take notes. In many cases, victims of such harassment will have a diary that details all incidents of discrimination or harassment, complete with times, dates and locations, along with any possible witnesses.
    5. Review company policies and state/federal laws. Understand the protections you have and use them in your favor. When a hostile work environment is created, the law sides with the part made uncomfortable, not the offending party.

    Getting the right legal counsel can be the most beneficial step. Regardless of where you are in the process of dealing with discrimination, you can contact our team for legal advice on your case.