What to Do if You Believe You Have Experienced Employment Discrimination

Tattooed bearded worker in overalls having hard day on the work.

Discrimination can take many forms, including unfair treatment based on race, gender, age, religion, disability, or other protected characteristics. If you believe you have experienced employment discrimination, taking the right steps to protect your rights and seek justice is crucial.

Here’s a guide on what to do if you find yourself in this situation.

1. Understand What Constitutes Employment Discrimination

Before taking action, it's essential to understand what constitutes employment discrimination. Discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee or job applicant unfavorably due to characteristics such as:

  • Race or Color
  • Sex or Gender Identity
  • Age (40 and older)
  • Religion
  • National Origin
  • Disability
  • Pregnancy
  • Genetic Information

Discrimination can manifest in various aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, promotions, pay, job assignments, training, benefits, and other terms of employment.

2. Document Everything

Documentation is critical when dealing with employment discrimination. Keep detailed records of any discriminatory incidents, including:

  • Dates and Times: Record when each incident occurred.
  • Details of Incidents: Describe what happened, who was involved, and any witnesses.
  • Communication: Save emails, text messages, or any written communication that supports your claim.
  • Performance Reviews: Keep copies of performance evaluations, especially if they contradict discriminatory statements or actions.

Having comprehensive documentation strengthens your case and provides essential evidence if you need to file a complaint or lawsuit.

3. Report the Discrimination Internally

Many companies have internal procedures for addressing discrimination complaints. Follow your employer’s process by reporting the issue to your supervisor, HR department, or another designated individual.

Provide them with your documentation and explain your concerns. This step is crucial as it gives your employer an opportunity to address the issue internally.

4. File a Complaint with the EEOC

If internal reporting does not resolve the issue or you prefer not to report internally, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination.

Here’s how to file a complaint:

  • Submit a Charge of Discrimination: You can file a charge online, by mail, or in person at an EEOC office. Provide all necessary information and documentation.
  • Wait for Investigation: The EEOC will investigate your complaint, which may involve contacting your employer, gathering additional information, and conducting interviews.
  • Mediation and Resolution: In some cases, the EEOC may offer mediation to resolve the issue. If mediation fails, the EEOC may proceed with further investigation or litigation.

5. Consider Legal Action

If the EEOC cannot resolve your complaint, they will issue a "Notice of Right to Sue," allowing you to file a lawsuit in federal court. At this stage, it is advisable to seek legal representation. An experienced employment attorney can guide you through the process, help you build a strong case, and advocate on your behalf.

6. Know Your State Laws

In addition to federal protections, many states have their own laws prohibiting employment discrimination. These laws may offer additional protections and avenues for recourse. Research your state’s laws or consult with an attorney to understand your rights and options.

7. Seek Support

Experiencing discrimination can be emotionally taxing. Seek support from trusted friends, family, or support groups. Counseling or therapy can also be beneficial in coping with the stress and emotional impact of discrimination.

Protect Your Rights: Call Us Today!

Taking action against employment discrimination is vital to protect your rights and promote a fair workplace. Don't navigate this challenging situation alone if you believe you have experienced discrimination. Our experienced legal team at Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP is here to help. 

Call us today at (626) 775-7870 to learn more.

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