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What Should I Do if I’m the Victim of Employment Discrimination?

If you have experienced discrimination in the workplace, you may be feeling angry, scared, or embarrassed. Know that you are not alone. While employment discrimination is illegal, sometimes people can still become the victim of this unfair treatment. If you have experienced workplace discrimination do not feel discouraged. With the help of a Marquette employment lawyer, many steps can be taken to take action against your harasser and bring them to justice.

What is Employment Discrimination?

Employment discrimination means that an employer is treating an employee or applicant unfairly based on certain characteristics they may have or be perceived to have. Employees are protected against discrimination by several laws. Federal commissions like the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) have made it illegal to discriminate against employees or applicants based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Sex
  • Gender identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability
  • Veteran status

Employers are discriminating if they make decisions based on any of the above classifications. These decisions could be to hire a person, fire them, promote or demote them, assign them certain tasks, increase or decrease their salary, or just how to treat them in general.

Should I File a Report if I’m the Victim of Employment Discrimination?

There are several actions you should take after you are the victim of employment discrimination, one of which is filing a report to the proper authorities. The following are steps you can take to ensure that the discrimination is addressed and prevented going forward.

First, locate your employee handbook and read up on your company’s policies. There should be a section detailing what discrimination looks like, the company’s protocols, and how to go about filing a complaint.

When preparing to file a complaint within your company, make sure to document the incidents of discrimination with great detail. Note where the incident took place, the names of the people involved, the names of witnesses if there were any, the date and time, and any other relevant details you can think of. It is important to be thorough.

You can follow the proper channels to file a complaint within the company. Email is likely the best medium as you will have a paper trail of proof of your correspondence. Email the necessary parties with a clear description of what has been going on, your detailed reports, the type of discrimination you are facing, and a request that they take action to investigate and shut down any discriminatory practices.

You can also file a report outside of your company. If you have faced harassment or discrimination at work you can file a complaint with the EEOC or the OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs) which is a sector of the U.S. Department of Labor. Submitting complaints to either of these organizations will result in an investigation or audit of your company to ensure that you and your coworkers have a safe and comfortable work environment that fosters productivity and professionalism.

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