Being discriminated against for any reason cultivates one of the most challenging conditions someone can face in the workplace. When an individual suspects that they’re experiencing workplace discrimination, it can be difficult to decide how to proceed. For example, they might worry that the discrimination will be difficult to prove, even if its existence seems quite apparent to them. Or, they might not know where to turn to begin resolving the issue.
Is it possible to successfully fight discrimination in the workplace?
The answer to that question, of course, is a resounding “yes.” No employee should feel obligated to put up with workplace discrimination for any reason. Fortunately, laws afford workers essential protections as well as ways to report and tackle workplace discrimination. This is true for discrimination of all forms, whether based on race, sex, disability, pregnancy, national origin, sexual orientation, and more.
Don’t sit back and allow discrimination to occur—what you face is illegal, unethical, and highly toxic to the work environment. Instead, recognize your own rights as a worker and take action to combat the problems you’re currently facing.
The Steps to Fighting Workplace Discrimination
If you feel lost and unsure how to proceed, here’s a short guide on fighting workplace discrimination step by step.
- Talk to Your Employer About Feeling Discriminated AgainstAs soon as you begin to suspect that you’re experiencing workplace discrimination, make sure to discuss the matter with your employer. That being said, it is extremely rare that an employer will admit to discriminating against an employee as soon as that individual brings up the issue with them. So, while your employer must know your feelings on the matter, this isn’t a guarantee that they will take any action to remedy it.Let your employer know that what you are currently facing is unwelcome and unacceptable. If you don’t make this clear, then there is a very slim chance that you will be able to successfully combat the discrimination in the long run.Even if your employer seems unwilling to comply with laws surrounding discrimination, it doesn’t mean that you should allow your personal rights to be violated. No matter how your employer responds to the accusation, make sure that you’re working to protect your rights.
- Be Clear: You Will Be Taking This Issue SeriouslyNot only should you inform your employer about what is happening, you should also let it be known that you will be taking the situation seriously. Whenever you report an instance of discrimination, request that your employer create a written report documenting the incident.Further, you should also request that a proper investigation be conducted surrounding your allegations and the incident you have reported. Also, request that the appropriate corrective or disciplinary action be taken against the perpetrators of the discriminatory acts. Due to the law, your employer will be required to take swift action should you report incidents of workplace discrimination.
- No Response From Your Employer? There Are Other OptionsAlthough they are technically breaking the law, some employers will refuse to take accusations of discrimination seriously. It can be tempting to give up when this occurs, believing that there is nowhere else for you to turn.Fortunately, other possibilities do exist as you continue to fight for your rights in the workplace. For instance, it’s possible to file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Alternatively, you can reach out to the California Employment Counsel for legal representation.
- Keep a Record of the IncidentsIf you’re experiencing workplace discrimination, make sure that you carefully record every incident. It is a great idea to keep a diary, where you can quickly and easily record the details of any discriminatory events as soon as they occur. It might not seem important now, but in the near future, having this carefully collected record of discrimination can be one of your most powerful resources.What kind of information should you be recording in this diary? Generally, the best information to keep track of is:
- The date
- The time of the incident (can be approximate)
- The location
- All the parties involved
- Any witnesses to the incident
- A short description of the discriminatory conduct
- Don’t Discard Important ObjectsIn some cases, physical objects will play a role in the discrimination. If this is the situation you’re in, make sure to save any objects or evidence of the conduct—the worst thing you can do is discard or throw away significant evidence.Essentially, if an object or a photo seems to be given to you with discriminatory intent, hold onto it.
- Review Your Employer’s Anti-Discrimination Policy (and the Laws)This is an excellent stage to brush up on your own rights by looking into your company’s anti-discrimination policy. As you continue to fight workplace discrimination, this can be invaluable knowledge to possess—especially if what you’re facing blatantly goes against the policy.Additionally, you should look at some of the federal and state laws surrounding discrimination in the workplace. Again, this will be useful knowledge to have moving forward.
- Take Legal ActionBy now, you’ve managed to gather your fair share of evidence proving the existence of discrimination. If you haven’t already, make sure to get in touch with the legal team at the California Employment Counsel.
At the California Employment Counsel, our only focus is to protect the rights of workers. We are the top discrimination lawyers in Orange County, with a track record of successfully helping employees battle discrimination. Remember, you don’t have to go through this fight on your own—if you need assistance, the California Legal Counsel is available to step in.
Fair Representation for Your Discrimination Case
If you believe your rights have been infringed upon, consider a case evaluation with our firm. You can get in touch with our office through this convenient online form. We’ll then discuss the discrimination you’re facing and help you develop a legal strategy to fight back.