In a perfect world, everybody would be able to go to work and do so in harmony. It shouldn’t matter what your race, age, gender or orientation is to be able to go to work. Yet, in this imperfect world, there are people who look to others who are different and don’t want them there.
This is discrimination and it is actually illegal. Many people will encounter discrimination or bullying at some point in their career for whatever makes them different. It shouldn’t be this way, but fortunately there are resources available to those that have experienced it.
In this article, I will go over what you can do about discrimination you have experienced in the workplace.
Many minorities or others feel that their superior is out to get them because of their race or other difference. This in itself would not constitute discrimination. Even a law firm that specializes in discrimination lawsuits like Eghbali Firm would have trouble establishing a claim.
What you need are hard facts so the issues need to be documented. Every time you feel there was something that a manager or superior did to make you feel that you are being discriminated against or harassed needs to be recorded. Write down the time, date and whoever else may have been present when it occurred.
When it comes time to report the incidents, this documentation will cement your claim and go a long way towards validating your feelings.
Try to work it out
There is a fine line between ignorance and maliciousness. That is to say that not everybody who is doing the discrimination is intending to cause harm. They may simply be ignorant of others feelings. If this is the case then it may be best to try to inform the offender of your feelings and see if there is a way to work things out to create a more harmonious workplace.
This won’t be relevant if there are deliberate measures being taken to punish somebody because of their race, faith or any other reason. Things like paying them less than their white peers, or not getting promoted when they are in position to be.
If you’ve made a good faith effort to try to resolve the situation but things have not improved then it is time to report. Start the process outlined in your employees handbook according to how your work handles these types of complaints.
Usually it involves going over the head of the person who is doing the discrinomation. However, when the person you have an issue with is the highest person on the ladder then you may have to report outside of your HR department.
The first thing to do in this case is to contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This office can also help you do the paperwork to file a complaint and assist when you need some language services if English is not your first language.