Even though workplace discrimination should be a thing of the past, it still comes into play time and time again. For example, age and gender discrimination remains a common problem throughout the country.
If you have reason to believe you're the victim of workplace discrimination, here are five things to do:
- Talk to your employer: Don't hesitate to meet with the company owner or HR department, as this provides the opportunity to share your feelings and better understand what's going on. While you shouldn't expect your employer to admit anything, you're at least getting your complaint out in the open. This is also a good time to review your employee handbook.
- Follow-up: If you alert your employer but the issue persists, follow-up to better understand what they're doing to make things right. Don't let them sweep the problem under the rug.
- Collect evidence: Any evidence related to your claim of discrimination, no matter how small it seems, should be kept in a safe place. For example, if you have an email from a supervisor that proves discrimination, a copy of it will go a long way in helping you in the future.
- Contact the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): This is typically a last resort, but you shouldn't hesitate to escalate your concern. The EEOC can review your case, contact your employer and do whatever it takes to protect your legal rights.
- Review all applicable state and federal laws: Doing so will help you understand your legal rights. For example, there is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Don't ignore workplace discrimination with the idea that it will go away on its own. This may happen, but don't count on it. If your employer gets away with it once, there's a good chance the problem will continue in the future.
It's critical to protect your legal rights as an employee. Neglecting to do so can result in everything from a demotion to termination. Not only does this impact your employment, but it does the same to your personal life and financial situation.
Visit our website for more information on workplace discrimination in Florida, including the steps you can take to protect yourself and receive the compensation you deserve.