Discrimination is not only illegal but also an action that can have a long-term adverse effect on victims. Discrimination at workplaces can result in irreparable damage and hamper your career as well. Unfortunately, workplace discrimination is still a significant problem that continues to plague several American youths. Several reports come to light every single year, and that’s indeed something to worry about. It has become mandatory for every employer and employee to realize what workplace discrimination is all about, how to counter it, and how vital keeping workplaces free of discrimination is. Get to know more about this in detail below.
What is Workplace Discrimination?
Discrimination at workplaces generally includes an employee being harassed either by their superiors or peers. Hurling illegal or irrelevant questions at female employees, including topics like their plans for marriage, kids, etc. Promoting, demoting, paying, and terminating employees on discriminatory grounds, not providing appropriate recommendations to employees who are suffering from challenges. This includes physical disabilities and asking a senior employee with a higher salary to leave, which are all examples of workplace discrimination.
EEOC or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission every year gets thousands of reports. Additionally, the commission believes that the lion’s share of workers who face harassment or discrimination does not file a report against it. In most cases, the reasons for not reporting can be the fear of retaliation and being uncertain regarding how to proceed. Although state laws and federal laws shield employees who report any case of discrimination, many people worry about the actions their employers might take. Even large organizations with human resource departments understand it is essential to think twice before doing something controversial.
What Does the Law State?
Both state and federal laws protect employees from discrimination on the grounds of religion, color, race, ancestry, disability, gender, veteran status, etc. In a few states, people are given protection on other grounds too. For example, the state of California bars its residents from discriminating against people based on gender identity, domestic violence victim status, medical status, and AIDS/HIV status.
What Should You Do If You Fall Prey to Discrimination?
Any employee can be a victim of discrimination at any given time. It becomes imperative for every single employee to realize their rights and the procedure to take legal action against them. Many employees are not aware of the fact that any discrimination or harassment; they are a victim of is against the law. As the old saying goes, – knowledge is power. Employees won’t be able to take action unless they know their rights.
If the company you work in has a human resources department, get in touch with them to know the correct procedures for how to file a complaint. Who knows, your company might have some detailed remedy to handle any instance of uncalled behavior or discrimination. Don’t worry if your claim doesn’t get heard, don’t forget to store the paper trail. Store the conversations you had with your HR officer and supervisors for future reference.
Have a Detailed Discussion with an Attorney
Not all cases of workplace discrimination lead to a lawsuit. In most cases, an attorney would show you the way how to file a report with EEOC. This is the first step towards taking legal action against your employer.
Discrimination Is a Loss for Everyone
Discrimination in the workplace is wrong for the employer and the employee. Employees who suffer from discrimination develop a feeling of isolation from their supervisors, seniors, and peers. As a result, their performance at the workplace will go for a toss. Aside from that, discrimination can lead to the loss of future income, loss of benefits, and loss of many more things. This is not something you wish to experience. All these factors can lead to emotional distress undoubtedly.
Everyone in a workplace must take responsibility and oppose illegal discrimination. The onus of making an ambiance healthy is on every single individual. Any step taken in this direction benefits both the employee and the employer. It would also help the company as a whole.