Workplace discrimination is an issue that many face daily. There are plenty of laws against it, yet it still goes on. People that just want to be able to work in dignity are being denied that right by being targeted. It’s essential to address discrimination because it harms individual workers and the overall work environment..
Things like racial discrimination at work is being tackled, but there is still a long way to go. If you feel like you’re being actively discriminated against at work, then you need to take some steps to protect yourself. In this article, we will go over several things you should be doing about workplace discrimination.
1 – Know your rights
Every worker deserves respect and fair treatment, and there are laws in place to protect these rights. The Civil Rights Act, for instance, makes it clear that discriminating against someone because of their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin is not acceptable.
For those with disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act offers protection, making sure they have an equal chance at employment and are not treated unfairly due to their condition.
Sometimes, local or state laws offer even more protection against workplace discrimination. So, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the laws that apply specifically to your region. Remember, these laws are there to safeguard your rights.
2 – Document everything
At some point when you’re facing discrimination you will need to report it to somebody. It could either be the HR department, a superior, or even the authorities. Having some documentation that backs up your assertion will help you immensely. You should start documenting everything.
To start, every time an incident occurs, make a note of it. Include details such as the date, time, and location of the occurrence. Who was involved? Were there any witnesses? What exactly happened? Be as specific as possible.
Also, if there are any written communications that support your concerns, like emails or text messages, save them. Written evidence can be particularly useful because it provides a record of discriminatory behavior.
There may even be some coworkers who have witnessed some of these incidents. Try to get them on record with their testimony of the events to have some third party corroboration. This type of testimony is generally very convincing since the witness doesn’t usually have an ulterior motive to lie about what they saw.
3 – Speak up
Speaking up about the discrimination you are facing can be very intimidating. It will take some courage to put yourself out there on a limb like that but it could help you if you do. Sometimes, people are unaware of the impact of their words or actions and might be receptive to understanding how they’ve made you feel.
If that is the case then the problem might be solved right then. If it doesn’t help then you should seek out some others to talk to before you escalate the situation. The next step is generally to go to your HR department with your concerns.
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