Just like at home, we want to feel safe in our work environment. However, there are unfortunate circumstances that arise that make our office an uncomfortable environment. Employees of all ages, races, and gender preferences can find themselves the victim of workplace discrimination. There should be no tolerating any form of discrimination, anywhere at all, but if it’s happening to you at work, there are steps that you can take immediately.
Assessing the Situation
More states across the U.S. are forwarding legislation to crack down on discriminatory practices in the workplace. However, it’s important to understand the situation you’re in. The first step is removing emotion from the situation. Sometimes, we may find ourselves stressed out by being overlooked. That’s why it’s best to keep records of instances where you have found you were being singled out based on elements like age, race, or gender.
There have been circumstances where a lack of communication can be to blame for these issues. Be sure to be able to have concrete evidence to prove these discriminatory practices. If there’s no true proof to back up these claims. it could be detrimental to how you are viewed within the company, compromising any future advancement.
Going to HR
It’s important to know your rights in the workplace. The U.S. Department of Labor has created outlets through the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to be able to report cases of assumed workplace discrimination. If you find that the offending behavior is persistent, report it to your company’s management. They are obligated by law to follow up on these complaints. If you feel uncomfortable going to a direct manager, you can go to your office’s human resources department.
HR workers will open an investigation into these complaints. Be sure to provide an outline of the evidence to those professionals to make sure that your case is better understood. You should also be wary of any retaliation over claims that have been made. This is when it’s time to journal those retaliatory acts and to possibly consider legal help.
If you have found that your complaints about mistreatment are going unheard or are now being further victimized for going to higher-ups, it may be time to consult an attorney about potential litigation. Legal experts like Malliha Wilson recognize the importance of workplace safety and curbing harassment as part of an overdue change brought on by the Me Too and Time’s Up movements in the United States and globally.
While you may not need someone of Ms. Wilson’s caliber as the first visible minority to hold the office of Assistant Deputy Attorney General of the Government of Ontario, it’s important to have an attorney on your side who recognizes that you have been victimized in the workplace. This is a matter of labor law that needs to be addressed to make sure that no one else is subject to that behavior.
Prioritizing Mental Health
It’s important to feel as though you can express your feelings about the workplace in a safe environment, and that’s where it may help to find therapy treatments. Type “therapist near me” into a search engine to see what options are at your disposal through your insurance or possibly made free through certain established programs. A licensed therapist can help you deal with certain triggers that emerge from falling victim to discriminatory practices, or recognizing that those problems don’t define your career.
Mental health should always be a priority, but it is of even greater importance when you have found yourself in an environment that sought to put you down or dissuade you. If you feel like you are a victim of workplace discrimination, don’t feel like you have to remain silent to stay ahead. There’s no place for those actions.