Workplace discrimination cannot only provide a negative environment, but it could prevent you from climbing the corporate ladder or securing a pay raise.
Unfortunately, many people can face prejudice in the workplace for a variety of reasons, such as their age, gender, sexuality, race, religion, disability or a pregnancy.
Acts of discrimination, bigotry or harassment could also impact your mental health, as they could lead to anxiety or depression. Rather than allowing another person’s prejudice to affect your professional and personal life, read the four ways to deal with workplace discrimination.
- Document All Events of Discrimination
It is crucial to document all occurrences of discrimination as soon as they begin. It can help to establish a pattern of trends and could serve as evidence to support a future discrimination case.
For example, you should keep a record of any discriminatory conversations, emails, text messages, and memos, and you must date when and where they took place and who was involved in the conversation.
- Understand Your Legal Rights
It is also wise to gain a firm understanding of your various legal rights. Different US states will have different laws in place regarding an employer’s right to dismiss a member of staff. However, every employee in every state will be protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states that no employee can be discriminated against based on their:
There are also federal laws in place to protect employees from ageism and disability discrimination. Yet, a company’s size can determine its requirements to adhere to discrimination law, as businesses with fewer than 15 employees could be exempt.
- Inform Your Employer
If you believe you are a victim of workplace discrimination, you must inform your employer of the prejudice. You also must request they file a written report each time an incident of either discrimination or harassment occurs. Employers are legally required to report all incidents and should consequently embark on an investigation and undertake disciplinary action, if necessary.
- Seek Legal Assistance
If an employer fails to act on your report of discrimination, or is the source of the complaint, you might have no other option but to seek legal assistance to receive compensation from the organization. It could provide financial justice for your emotional distress, lost benefits and can provide punitive damages.
If, however, you want to avoid heading into court, you should aim to reach a settlement agreement to resolve the issue with an employer and move on from this negative time in your life.
No employee should face discrimination, bigotry or harassment in the workplace. If you believe you are experiencing the above in your career, you must take action as soon as possible.
It is, therefore, important to document every event, gain an understanding of your legal rights, talk to your employer about the unfair treatment and, if all else fails, seek legal assistance to close the door on workplace discrimination and move forward with your career.