Discrimination cases occur each year in various organizations. When we talk about discrimination, maybe you are imagining the different pay scales between the ladies and gentlemen or being denied to contest for a manager’s position. It’s not as straightforward as it may seem to be, as discrimination cases are complex. Discrimination does not include those employees who refuse to come forward to present their grievances or employees who resolve their issues internally. Those who don’t come forward, it’s most likely that nothing will change if they fail to take action. Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with the tension alone, there are set rules that govern discrimination. Some people fear to report these actions because of the technicalities involved in reporting discrimination. However, there are steps you can take to hold your employer liable and protect your workplace rights and interests.
What is Workplace discrimination?
Employment discrimination is an unfair treatment to an employee based on gender, race, religion, or national origin when hiring, referring, and promoting or any other employment facet. Discrimination mostly occurs between employees and employers or even a third party, though it can still arise between employees. Discrimination has been enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Any employer is supposed to take affirmative action towards guaranteeing equal employment opportunity to their employees without regard to sex, religion, race, or national origin. According to the employment law, there are responsibilities or obligations set for the employer-employee relationship concerning workplace safety against any discrimination, wages, or any other cause of discrimination. If this doesn’t happen and your rights are violated, labor lawyers in orange County Ca help to protect your interests. Discrimination in the workplace may take many forms. However, there are four main types of discrimination contained in the Equality Act. They include:
- Direct discrimination: This type of discrimination occurs when you’re treated less favorable. It doesn’t have to be the intention. Meaning even if your employer discriminated you unintentionally, you can still file a claim and succeed. For instance, your employer may discriminate you against a characteristic that you’re thought to possess. Whether the perception is accurate or not, it can be termed as discrimination by perception.
- Indirect discrimination: This type of discrimination occurs when a rule, policy, or practice has affected many employees but has more effect on others. According to Equality law, it puts you at a particular disadvantage. This type of indirect discrimination usually is unintended. For instance, if there is a ban on dreadlocks in the workplace, this could affect certain racial groups compared to others. With this, one might feel indirectly discriminated against.
- Victimization: This is discrimination by an employer because an employee is involved in supporting or bringing a complaint of discrimination. It may also include giving evidence that relates to discrimination.
- Harassment: This can be termed as intimidation. It must include a violation of someone’s dignity or having an offensive or hostile environment for an employee. For example, inappropriate questions or bullying. All these can be termed as harassment.
It’s only in limited circumstances that direct and indirect discrimination can be lawful. That why you need an experienced labor lawyer to help you determine what you can objectively justify as having caused you damages. With this, you can achieve a legitimate claim.
Steps To Take If You Have Been Discriminated At Workplace
If you feel you have been discriminated against, ensure to take the following steps.
- Identify the discrimination: You can talk it over with someone you fully trust to help you focus on the critical issues while identifying your discrimination. For instance, you can’t say that your manager is discriminating against you because he/she hates you. You must provide concrete facts relating to why you think the manager hates you. If you’re not sure, you can contact an attorney for assistance.
- Keep a record of any offensive act: You need to maintain a journal of discriminatory behavior regardless of the type of discrimination. This should include names, dates, locations, or even witnesses of what occurred. Some of these have records could be in forms of emails sent to you, documents, or performance reviews having discriminatory messages. This information may also help to prevent future discrimination in your workplace.
- Reach out to an experienced lawyer: Workplace discrimination is illegal. Therefore, your employer is supposed to comply with the law. If he/she fails to do so, the only way to ensure your rights are protected is by contacting a qualified employment lawyer. He/she can explain in detail the steps you need to take to protect yourself. Never try filing a complaint without the help of a lawyer. The employment department will be on the side of your employer. The only person who has your best interests in mind is only the employment lawyer. They know how to step forward when it comes to workplace discrimination.