The rise in workplace allegations has brought to the forefront of society how bad behavior at work can go unnoticed for a significant time, particularly if the perpetrator holds some power in the business. We’ve put together an action plan for victims of workplace discrimination to follow, so if you’ve suffered an injustice at the hands of a colleague, read on to know what steps to take.
Define Your Discrimination
It is important for any complaints you make to outline what kind of discrimination you have faced. Race, Religion, Sex, Disability, and Age can all be discriminated against, so define which you have suffered, whether it is one or more.
Seek Help From Professionals
It is best to have some legal help onside before you begin complaint proceedings as they can help you draft up a letter of complaint and attend any meetings with your employer or HR department. Law firms such as HKM have plenty of experience in employment law and will be able to assist you to take action. Anti-discrimination laws can vary slightly from state to state (with some depending on the number of employees a company has), however, each will have something in place to protect you and others from discrimination, particularly in the workplace. Remember whilst complaints to your company is the first step, you may also like to report your situation to the police if you feel as though your perpetrator has broken any laws.
Put together a log of evidence, the more information you have the better your complaint will be upheld. Save any unsavory emails, texts, voicemails, or Whatsapp messages to your personal devices as you may not have access to these if you are ever let go from your company. Keep a diary of any occurrences where you have faced discrimination and keep it in a safe location outside of your workplace. There may only have been one incident or there may have been many but keep track of any instance in which you feel you have been discriminated against.
There may have been other people or colleagues who have witnessed any occurrences of discrimination, so speak to them and ask if they would come forward and support you in your complaint. If you have no tangible evidence, these cases can often become a he said/she said situation, so having others corroborate your story will help you. You may not be the only person who has been discriminated against, so your complaint may be strengthened by others and end a dangerous and saddening situation for many.
Speak To Your Employers
Sit down and have a conversation with your employers and tell them your situation. Involve your HR department and let them know what has happened and how it has made you feel. Your company has a duty to protect you so it will enable them to take the next steps in making you feel safe and supported. It is also a good idea to lodge a formal complaint with the Office of Federal Contract Complaint Programs (OFCCP) who are the official governing body for protection against workplace discrimination.
Have you faced discrimination in the workplace and helped put an end to it? Let us know your story in the comments.