Facing discrimination in the workplace can be difficult. You may feel like you’re all alone and have no one you can talk to. It may even prompt you to leave a job you love. Things are even worse when others in the workplace are complicit or downplaying your claims. You also have to assess whether you’re actually dealing with discrimination, and what you can do to make sure that your rights are protected if you are. Here are four things you need to do if you believe you’re facing discrimination at work.
Try to be the Least Emotional as Possible
One of the first things you need to understand about workplace discrimination is that hunches and feelings won’t hold up. You have to make sure that you can come up with facts. Anyone can say that a supervisor doesn’t like them. If you don’t have concrete facts and evidence to back that up, then it’s all hearsay and subject to your own bias.
Spot the Signs
With that being said, you don’t need to have perfect white and black evidence that someone in power is discriminating against you. You have to be able to spot some of the subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle signs that there may be discrimination in the workplace.
One example is if you’re constantly being assigned to the same tasks while others get to move around. Or maybe you heard a manager make comments about people of a certain age, or maybe to you directly. We also suggest you look up whether you need consent to record conversations you’re having or conversations from other people. These could reveal details into the inner workings of your workplace and give you more ammunition for making your case.
Get to the Bottom of the Situation
You also want to get to the bottom of the situation before you think about making any complaints. In some cases, it might simply be that there was some miscommunication. Maybe you didn’t understand some of the privileges some employees had because of seniority, for instance. In other cases, there might simply be a clash in communication styles between you and a higher up.
Report the Issue
If after all of this you still feel like there could be discrimination, let someone in management know of the situation. They will then be obligated by law to investigate it further. You also have to be ready to deal with retaliation if the person you’re making the complaint against happens to be in an important position. In which case, you will need to report this as well.
You may have to start taking some further action if nothing changes, despite your best efforts. You will either need to consult the EEOC, an attorney, or both.
These are the main steps you need to take if you feel you are being discriminated against in the workplace. Make sure that you follow these steps and don’t hesitate to get some outside help if needed.