What is Workplace Discrimination? What should you do if you see it or experience it?

It can be very difficult to identify discrimination in the workplace. Many are unaware of when and if workplace discrimination is taking place. Workplace discrimination can range from very serious to less serious levels and can include anything from inappropriate emails, negative comments, to unlawful actions by the employer and or a co-worker(s). Often individuals are confused, lack confidence, or afraid of losing their jobs if they make a complaint. Not reporting an incident can have a serious effect on an individual mentally, physically, and emotionally. That is why it’s important that you are well informed about the laws regarding workplace discrimination and how to identify it.

What is Workplace Discrimination?

Workplace discrimination is the use of physical, verbal, or written form of treatment that either degrades, shows hostility, or disliking on the basis on gender, sexual preference, race, political affiliation, color, or disability. This has the potential of disrupting an employee’s work performance, their chance at compensation or employment opportunities, or creating a hostile work environment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is a federal law enforcement agency that enforces laws against workplace discrimination. This type of behavior is prohibited and prosecuted by the EEOC.

Under the laws enforced by EEOC, it is illegal to discriminate against someone (applicant or employee) because of that person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to retaliate against a person because he or she complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

What should you do if you feel there is Discrimination occurring in the workplace?

Keep Detailed Records

It is important to keep a detailed record of the incident and/or incidents. Keep track of the time and date (s) of the incident (s), including the individual (s) involved, the location of the incident, and other important details about the event. Keeping accurate documentation will help you during the investigation of the incident, and it will also help you when you file your claim.

File a Harassment Claim

You want to file a claim as soon as possible. After the incident, you only have 180 days to file your claim with the EEOC. You can file the claim at the nearest EEOC office, or you can file your claim by mail. Be prepared to provide the EEOC with your personal information as well as your employers. You will also have to provide all of the information that you collected in relation to your incident, in order to help aid your investigation.

After a Harassment Claim is filed

After you have submitted your claim to the EEOC, the EEOC will then begin its investigative process of the incident(s). Depending on the information and details you provided, the EEOC may prioritize your case or it may be assigned to be reviewed to gain further knowledge about the discriminatory behavior. During this investigation process, the EEOC may ask you to provide further information about the incident (s), visit your place of work, and/ or conduct interviews.

Resolving the Harassment Claim

During the investigative process, the EECO may attempt to conduct some form of mediation if both you and the employer are willing to discuss the matter. If mediation does not help resolve the matter between you and the employer, then the EEOC will continue the investigation in order to reach a resolution. If the EEOC is unable to resolve your matter, you will be informed that you have 90 days to bring a claim against your employer.

Legal Representation

If the EEOC was unable to resolve the matter and you have been a victim of discrimination then you should contact the law office of Tory D Allen to help resolve your claim. Here at our office we dedicate our time and efforts to reaching the best end result for our clients. We are devoted to professionalism and determined to protect your rights.