It is hard to go to work when you feel that the odds are against you. Whether you’re getting spoken to like you’re obsolete just because you’re over 40 or you’re facing discrimination and harassment due to the way you wear your hair in an ethnic style, you don’t deserve to work in that kind of environment.
If you believe that you are the target of discrimination or harassment on the job, it’s time to recognize that discrimination, report it and move toward a resolution.
What does employment discrimination look like?
Employment discrimination or harassment occurs when an employee is treated differently just because they are part of a protected category. The protected categories include:
- Ancestry/national origin
- Military or veteran status
- Marital status
- Medical condition
- Genetic information
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity or expression
- Gender/sex, including childbirth, breastfeeding, pregnancy and related conditions
- Age (40 or older)
Employers are not able to discriminate against you at any part of the employment process. This means that applicants cannot be discriminated against. Employees may not be discriminated against, either.
What should you do if you believe that you’re a target of harassment or discrimination?
If you think that you are the target of discrimination or harassment, it’s important for you to take steps to resolve those issues. To start with, you can write down incidents that you’re dealing with. You should also note the date and time of those incidents. Keep track of any witnesses, and ask them if they would be willing to make a statement if you go to the human resources department or a superior with your concerns.
After this, you should take your concerns to your boss, supervisor or the human resources department to discuss what has happened to you in the workplace. If they do not take your concerns seriously, or if they fail to take action, then you may want to consider speaking with an attorney about your legal options. If discrimination or harassment has taken place and no changes are being made to help resolve those issues, then your employer could be held responsible for violating the law.