A Career in the Balance: What to Do When You Feel There’s Discrimination at Work

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For many people, there are times when they feel that their rights have been ignored or outrightly dismissed. When you think that you face discrimination, you need to take steps to ensure that there is proper documentation. But even before you hire a lawyer and obtain the services of a process server, you should make sure that you try to contain the situation. Containment is always the best approach to resolve a potentially explosive problem, but how do you begin when you feel your rights are ignored? Here’s what you should do.

Talk With The Offender

If the discrimination comes from a fellow employee, then the first step should be to confront the offender. This direct approach may be unpleasant, but it allows you to solve the issue directly. This also helps when you make a legal case. If you don’t notify the offender, then they can use the defense that they did not know that they were doing something wrong.

In lawsuits involving discrimination or harassment, it is part of your lawsuit to prove that the behavior was unwelcome. This can be important since some sexual harassment or discrimination cases have the defense being that the victim was a participant and allowed it at the time. With your objection, you can prove that you didn’t want it and did not let it pass. The problem is if the behavior continues or if it is the company’s fault because of either unequal pay or discriminatory rules, then it is time to move to the next step.

Take Your Concerns To Management

The company’s management is the next step you have to make. Taking up your case to management should help resolve the issue. Check your employee handbook about your company’s policies about how to report these violations.

The best thing to do is to document everything. These have to include everything that proves the incident. For office complaints, it will likely be e-mails and texts about the incident. A formal report to your HR department can often solve a lot of discrimination and harassment issues. This gives your company a chance to do their investigation and make the needed changes.

Additionally, this notice puts the company on notice. When you know that management is aware of the problem, you should then observe whether the company is taking action. For example, a workplace culture that encourages sexism and discrimination is not alright. Voicing your concerns means that the company is now liable for fixing things.

This allows you to have legal standing when you file a case against your company. When you notice no changes in the situation, you should document it and gives you a solid grounding for asking for punitive damages when you finally make your case.

Make an Administrative Charge

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When you feel that nothing is happening, you need to take the next step and file an administrative charge. This is done by filing a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If you want your identity to stay secret, you can have another person file for you. But even if you file as yourself, your company cannot retaliate against you.

Note that there is a time limit for filing. When the discrimination incident, you have 180 days to file a report. This is six months of gathering evidence but depending on local laws, and the deadline can extend. The discrimination claim can be made by either mail or online. But the best option is to do it in person. You then need to provide essential information about your case, like your personal details and the company details. For increased chances of success, you should provide all the evidence that you collected.

The agency will then notify your employer and start an investigation. If your evidence is right, then there is a good chance that the investigation goes quickly. Depending on what the agency decides, they will investigate, mediate, or even dismiss your claims. They can then resolve the claim by asking your employer to provide you with compensation. They might not be able to solve everything, and if they can’t, they will issue you a right to sue letter that will allow you to file a lawsuit.

Filing a Lawsuit

With your right to sue letter, you will then have the chance to file your lawsuit. With all the steps beforehand, your case should be much easier. Your legal rights should be ready and the evidence will help your lawyer. You need to work with a good lawyer that specializes in employment law so that you have a better chance of success.

There are still many members of society who face discrimination or still have a hard time being taken seriously at work. If you want your career to progress properly, you should start to make sure you are not discriminated or ignored, especially if it is your rights.

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