If you experience mistreatment at work, there are some steps you should take to protect your rights. These actions will likely help you put a stop to the mistreatment and improve your work situation. If push comes to shove, seek a reputable LA discrimination law firm to help sue for workplace discrimination.
Types of Workplace Discrimination
According to the United States DoJ (Department of Justice), workplace discrimination comes in several forms, such as;
- Racial and skin color based discrimination
- National origin based discrimination
- Gender discrimination
- Religious discrimination
- Military status based discrimination
- Retaliation based discrimination
Steps to Take When Facing Workplace Discrimination
If you decide to file a harassment or discrimination case, having the documentation for these steps will strengthen your case.
1. Talk to the Offender
You may want to address the person who is mistreating you directly before filing a formal complaint. Putting a wrongdoer on notice will also make it easier to prove some critical facts in a lawsuit. Do not laugh off a color joke or react in a flattering manner to appease a superior. Instead, tell them that you found such a joke, action or remark offensive. Be polite but be firm in requesting no repetition of such an incident. Try to keep a record of such an incident.
2. Make a Formal Complaint With the Company
If the conversation with the offender does not resolve anything or you decide to skip it, then the next step is a formal internal complaint. Ask the HR department for the procedure of filing a proper discrimination complaint. Such an action allows the company to resolve the matter internally. It also preserves your legal rights.
If the company doesn’t resolve the issue despite knowing about it, it gives you clear grounds to sue the company for workplace discrimination, not just the offender.
3. File an Administrative Charge
Before proceeding with a discrimination or harassment lawsuit, you must file an administrative charge with the federal agency, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or a comparable state agency. Without filing such a charge first, the judge may throw out your lawsuit.
Additionally, you may have to file an administrative complaint with the state’s fair employment practices department before filing a discrimination or harassment lawsuit.
The EEOC or its equivalent agency will notify your company of the charge. Then, it may decide to investigate, mediate, dismiss or take other action on your behalf. The action may consist of issuing you a letter that permits you to proceed with your lawsuit with formal permission.
The deadlines for filing an administrative charge and for filing a lawsuit are short. If you don’t already have a lawyer, make sure you hire one before your deadline arrives. A lawyer can evaluate the strength of your discrimination claim, ensure no missing time limits, draft your administrative charge, and help negotiate with your employer.
4. File a Lawsuit
Once you receive your ‘right-to-sue’ letter, you may file a lawsuit. Contact a discrimination lawyer as soon as possible so you can avoid making a mistake. Some discrimination cases can become very high profile, making it even more important to let an experienced attorney handle the hurdles.