Discrimination in the Workplace: What It Is and What You Can Do About It
Discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee unfavorably because of their race, gender, age, religion, national origin, disability, or other protected characteristic. Discrimination can take many forms, from denying a promotion or pay increase to outright harassment or termination. If you believe that you have been the victim of discrimination in the workplace, there are steps you can take to protect your rights.
Types of Discrimination
There are several types of discrimination that can occur in the workplace. Some of the most common include:
- Hiring Discrimination: Employers cannot refuse to hire an applicant based on their race, gender, age, or other protected characteristic.
- Pay Discrimination: Employers cannot pay employees less based on their race, gender, or other protected characteristic.
- Promotion Discrimination: Employers cannot deny promotions based on an employee’s race, gender, or other protected characteristic.
- Harassment: Harassment can take many forms, from offensive jokes to physical assault. Employers have a duty to prevent and address harassment in the workplace.
- Retaliation: Employers cannot retaliate against employees for reporting discrimination or engaging in other protected activities.
What Can You Do About It?
If you believe that you have been the victim of discrimination in the workplace, there are several steps you can take to protect your rights:
- Keep Records: Keep a record of any incidents of discrimination, including dates, times, and witnesses. This evidence can be helpful in proving your claim.
- Speak with Your Employer: If you feel comfortable, speak with your employer or a supervisor about the discrimination. Sometimes, employers are willing to address the issue and make changes.
- File a Complaint: If your employer is unwilling to address the issue, you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a state agency. These agencies can investigate your claim and may take legal action on your behalf.
- Consider Legal Action: If you have been the victim of discrimination, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced employment attorney can help you understand your legal rights and work to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Discrimination can have serious consequences for your career and your wellbeing. If you believe that you have been the victim of discrimination in the workplace, it’s important to take action to protect your rights. Speak with an experienced employment attorney to discuss your case and determine the best course of action to take.