How to Handle Discrimination in the Workplace?
Unfortunately, discrimination within the workplace isn’t uncommon. In fact, in 2021, there were over 60,000 charges filed to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alone. If you find yourself a victim of workplace discrimination, know that you are not alone and you should contact an employment law attorney Los Angeles right away. Discrimination within the workplace is when an employer treats an employee negatively based on their race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. In California’s Fair Employment Laws, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against you based on one of these categories, so it’s vital that you know your local laws when pursuing discriminatory behavior within your workplace. Keep reading to learn more about the state and federal employment regulations below.
How to Report Discrimination in the Workplace?
Suppose you’ve found yourself in a situation with your employer where you feel discriminated against based on one of the above attributes. In that case, you should seek out an employment law attorney. At Point Law Group, we are here to advise you on the best ways to move forward with your claims. Here are a few initial steps you can take when handling discrimination in the workplace.
1. Make a record of every discriminatory action made towards you.
When you start to notice discrimination against you in your workplace, write down every instance it occurs in as much detail as possible. Write down where and when, any potential witnesses, what was said, and any other circumstances around the offending action. Keeping a journal of these infractions will help you to recall these moments when going to HR or your employer.
2. Make your employer aware of the discrimination.
Whether you decide to handle the issue directly or go to your company’s Human Resources, it’s crucial that you make the discrimination known internally. Under the law, your employer must investigate your claims and act in your interest. When going to Human Resources, it’s essential to remove your emotions from the situation and provide facts and details of specific instances in which discrimination occurred. If you decide to acknowledge your accused employer directly, use clear and concise language to avoid any misunderstandings between the two parties, document the interaction in as much detail as possible, and put it into your records.
3. Ask for a written report of your claims.
The written report shows your employer that you take these claims seriously. If you must make multiple, keep your records together and keep them organized so you can reference them quickly. Be aware of any retaliation you may receive after you’ve made your complaints, and write them down in detail wherever you were recording the actions against you. In fact, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits employers from retaliating against you because you have rights under local and federal employment laws. If you notice retaliation, we suggest informing an attorney before proceeding with more claims.
4. Review your company’s anti-discrimination policy.
Knowing your company’s policy will help you keep better records because knowing what your company recognizes as discrimination will help you be more concise in your claims. Seeing your company’s policies on anti-discriminatory behavior in writing will benefit you if you seek outside help from an attorney. You can even make a copy of the policy and include it in your file of documents.
5. Seek outside help from an employment attorney or the EEOC.
If you’ve made claims internally and are still experiencing discrimination in the workplace, you should seek an attorney to help you move forward with your claims. If you decide to go this route, you’ll already have a folder ready with detailed accounts of each offense, your company’s anti-discrimination policy, and the written reports you filed internally with HR. Your attorney will help you navigate your workplace when moving forward with your claims.
You can also make a claim with the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission if you prefer to take matters to a macro scale. If you seek advice from an employment lawyer, they can help you navigate the best action plan when filing with the EEOC.
It’s essential to know your rights both federally and locally. If you’re in California and are having problems with discrimination in your workplace, here are a couple of state laws to familiarize yourself with so that you can make an informed decision on how you want to move forward with your claims. Your employment attorney will have all this information, but it always helps to do your scholarly research.
These employment laws protect you in California and federal law:
• The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA): The primary law protecting you from discrimination in the workplace.
• Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA): Under Title II, employers are prohibited from discriminating based on genetic information, such as medical history. In California specifically, there are laws protecting you against discrimination of your ancestry, religious accommodations, marital status, medical conditions, pregnancy, and traits associated with race, such as textured hair and certain hairstyles (CROWN ACT).
Ultimately, you are responsible for taking action to stop discrimination within your workplace. Never underestimate the power of your voice because you can help your company evolve into an inclusive and safe work environment for yourself and future employees. It’s important to acknowledge the significance of your individuality because everything that makes you who you are, whether it’s your religion, race, sex, gender identity, national origin, or disability, are your strengths. Your unique perspectives on life make you an invaluable asset to your company. At Point Law Group, we are here to back you legally so you can confidently navigate your workplace without the strain of discrimination.
Hiring Employment Law Attorney Los Angeles Today!
If you believe you’ve experienced discrimination within your workplace, contact us at 310-560-0606 to get connected with one of our Los Angeles employment lawyers for a free consultation to learn more about your rights and potential claims.
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