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How to Protect Yourself After Experiencing Discrimination at Work

Sep 17

Many of us face challenges during the workday, and this is to be expected in any industry. However, no employee should be expected to deal with discrimination while they’re at work. Employment discrimination is illegal, but that doesn’t stop many employees from being discriminated against for their race, age, gender, and more. If this has happened to you, you might not know what to do to keep yourself safe.

Experiencing any form of discrimination is extremely upsetting, and it may feel like there’s nothing you can do to improve the situation. While it shouldn’t be up to you to protect yourself in the workplace, there are a few things you can do to help your future.

Understand Your Rights 

First, it’s crucial that all employees understand what rights and protections they have in the workplace. You have the right to work in an environment that’s free of discrimination, and no one should be making you feel unwelcome or unsafe. If you’re being discriminated against at work, you may have a case that can help you get justice. In addition to federal, state, and city laws, your workplace may also have rules and guidelines regarding discrimination and harassment. Review what policies your employer has in place if you’re questioning to report the actions and behaviors you experienced.

It can be easy to discourage yourself in situations like this. You might be questioning whether or not you should report the incident. Knowing what rights you have and what behaviors could be against the law can help you know when you need to report someone for discrimination.

Keep All Evidence of Discrimination

Gathering evidence can be difficult, and you might not think that you have any. However, anything you have, even if it’s seemingly something minor, that can show discrimination occurred can be beneficial. You might have emails and messages or other written and recorded evidence of discriminatory behaviors. If you suspect you’re experiencing discrimination, it’s important to keep anything that might be able to help you later on. 

Take Notes

In addition to maintaining whatever evidence you’re able to, you’ll also want to keep notes detailing any instances of discrimination. You might think this isn’t necessary and that you’ll remember everything you need, but small details that may be important can easily be left out if you don’t keep notes along the way. This allows you to be more accurate and provide as much information regarding the discriminatory action as possible. 

Report the Incident

Your employer can’t help if they aren’t aware of what’s going on. If you believe you’re being discriminated against, you need to report the behavior to your supervisor. While reporting discrimination can be difficult, you shouldn’t put this off. The sooner you call attention to this, the sooner someone can step in to help. Show your employer what evidence you’ve obtained and give them as much information about the incident as you can. If your supervisor is the one discriminating against you, it may be better for you to go to HR or someone above your supervisor.

Get an Employment Discrimination Lawyer

Unfortunately, not everyone who reports discrimination at work gets the response they wanted from their employer. If nothing is done about these actions and behaviors, you might think there’s nothing left for you to do. This can be discouraging, but your fight for justice isn’t over if your employer wouldn’t help. If you believe you’ve experienced discrimination in the workplace and nothing has been done about it, it could be time for you to get legal help. An employment discrimination lawyer knows what steps to take to help you get justice and will offer the guidance you need. 

If you’re experiencing discrimination, you don’t have to go through this on your own. Contact a New York employment discrimination lawyer at Brown Kwon & Lam to learn more about what to do if you’re experiencing workplace discrimination.

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