What do I do if I am the Victim of Employment Discrimination?

October 2, 2013

It is an unfortunate fact of life that sometimes there are problems, even those you can do little or nothing about. At work these issues can relate to things such as our gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, and others. Laws have been established to prevent these problems from rearing their ugly heads, but despite these, as everyone knows, they still happen. The question is, what is the most effective method of dealing with them?

Everyone Has Options

There are those who take the hit with the attitude that, “Well, that’s the way life is,” but that’s ignoring the hurt that might never go away. Another part of this feeling says, “What can I do about it?” The truth is, there are many means of recourse. This article will serve as a primer to correcting the problem.

The first thing that should be understood is that not all forms of discrimination are illegal. Only those mentioned in the list above are commonly held to be illegal. There are some difference between states, so you will need to check the laws in your state or contact an employment attorney to determine what might apply in your area.

Taking Action

The first thing that most attorneys will advise you to do is to keep a written record of the discriminatory actions that you feel have been taken against you. You will want to include notes of what was said or done, when, and by whom.

When you feel you are ready to take action, the first thing you should do is to contact your supervisor. If that person seems unreceptive or if they are the source of the problem, you might want to check with the human resources department of the company you work for. The best thing they can do for you is to advise you on how to deal effectively with the situation. If the company you work for is of any substantial size, chances are good that there is a procedure that you should follow to resolve your complaint. Whatever that plan is, follow it. After you bring a complaint to the notice of management, there is a good chance that you will discover that the problem was unknown to them. As a result, quick action could be forthcoming.

When all Else Fails

If you feel that you are a member of a protected group and the officials of your company are unwilling to deal with the situation, you might need to contact an employment attorney to resolve the situation. An experienced employment attorney will be able to advise you on whether you really do have an actionable case and how to pursue it.

Bringing a legal action against anyone is never a pleasant experience, but there is little to be gained by allowing an employer to take advantage of you, often at the further expense of ridicule from others at your place of employment, and this doesn’t include the feelings of unfair rejection and alienation that you will keep for your lifetime.

Act Now

Also keep in mind that statutes of limitations exist for almost all legal matters. And when that date expires, you have little recourse, so make sure you bring the matter to someone’s attention as quickly as possible. The time to act is now.

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