Your place of employment should be an environment in which you feel confident, comfortable, and free to thrive and succeed. However, when you work in a discriminatory environment, the opposite is often true. Whether it's an intolerance to your color, race, sex, or even disability, this is not a behavior that should be tolerated in the workplace. It's important that you understand your rights and that you take swift action.
You Have Rights
As previously mentioned, it is the responsibility of the employer to create a safe environment that is positive for each employee. When an employer isn't creating this environment, or they are turning a blind eye to other team members inhibiting this goal, they are sometimes at fault.
As an employee, you have a legal right to file suit for your financial damages or to force the employer to comply to the law. No matter what you may think, or may have been told, understand that you do have legal rights that you can execute at any time.
A discrimination case can very easily turn into a case of "he said, she said." Having a detailed record of everything that has occurred can be especially helpful in tipping the scales in your favor since you will have evidence to back up your claims. When collecting information, make sure you are keeping any documents and emails you receive as well as making a note of any conversations you may have had with the employer concerning the issue.
For instance, for someone who believes they were discriminated against for a new role, their credentials as well as the credentials of the employee who actually received the job would be something to include in the record.
There are a number of scenarios in which the scene could look discriminatory, but upon further investigation, the opposite is the case. In many of these instances, simply speaking up and expressing your concerns about a particular situation can help you resolve a problem quickly.
When approaching your employer, ensure you have all the information, be professional, and be polite. Coming to the meeting unprepared or angry will only make matters worse. If, after the conversation, you don't feel any differently about the matter, you can then move forward.
If you are facing workplace discrimination, it can be helpful to speak with a civil rights attorney. An attorney can examine the specifics of your claim to help you plan the best course of action ahead.