As a victim of employee discrimination, it’s critical that you do whatever you can to protect your legal rights. Should you simply sit back and let your employer get away with this, it can affect your personal life, finances and career path.
The second you realize that you’re a victim of workplace discrimination is the second you should schedule a meeting with the appropriate human resources (HR) representative. Here are some tips on what to say and do:
- Review your employee handbook: As you prepare for your meeting with HR, review your employee handbook for language associated with discrimination. It should outline how to file a complaint and what to expect.
- Provide evidence: During your meeting, share any evidence you have collected. Not only does this back up your claim, but it shows that you’re serious. Don’t hand over the evidence, however, as you never know what your company will do with it.
- Ask about the next steps: It’s one thing to file a complaint with your HR department but another thing entirely for them to take action. Make it clear that you plan on following up in the future. This will force them to give you an outline of what’s to come.
- Follow up: If you don’t hear back in a reasonable period of time, follow up with your HR contact to see where things stand. Continue to do this at regular intervals until you’re satisfied with where things stand.
- Keep a log: Take detailed notes regarding every contact you have with the HR department. Also, keep copies of all important documents, such as your formal complaint. This timeline may come in handy in the future should your employer neglect to take the appropriate action.
If you don’t get anywhere with this process, it’s time to consider your other options. For example, you may want to file a charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
There is no place in the workplace (or anywhere else) for discrimination. If you’re a victim, learn more about your legal rights and then take steps to protect them. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what’s right.