You can’t control where and when you face discrimination, but you can control how you respond to it. If you encounter unlawful discrimination at the workplace, there are certain steps you should take towards resolving the problem without jeopardizing your job. If you are being discriminated against by one of your co-workers, bring the matter to the attention of your employer. Staying silent and hoping the discrimination stops will only embolden your harasser. It is the employer’s job to make sure unlawful discrimination is not allowed at the workplace, but that is only possible if you make your problem known. Tell your employer that the discrimination is taking a serious toll on your mind. If necessary, prepare a written report of the incident to submit to the company department that deals with such matters.
In case no response is forthcoming from company heads, you can contact the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to get them involved in the matter and apply pressure on your company superiors to address the problem. If the discriminatory action persists over time keep a diary and record all the instances, along with the time, location, witnesses, the name of the harasser and other details. If there were any objects or pictures made available at the workplace that led to the discrimination, hold onto those objects, or take their picture as a record. Throwing away such objects might seem like a short-term solution, but you need them as evidence when lodging a complaint against your aggressors.
Check up on your company’s anti-discriminatory policy to find out what choices are presented to do for dealing with the situation. Review your state’s laws and federal laws regarding your rights in the situation. Finally, seek the help of an attorney who can explain to you the options that exist for someone in your situation. Cases of unlawful discrimination at the workplace are unfortunately quite common, and there are many prior cases whose rulings and the precedents they set can help you get justice, if you have a good lawyer who can provide sound counsel.
The laws regarding your situation may be quite complex, and trying to decipher them on your own can lead to the wrong moves on your part that may even result in you losing your job. An attorney will provide advice, allay your fears and keep you calm and collected. While facing discrimination can be very damaging in emotional terms, it is important to keep your mind on the bigger picture so you can protect your right and get compensated for the damages caused, whether in the form of money or other benefits.