Do’s and Don’ts of Reporting Discrimination
Experiencing workplace discrimination can be a difficult experience. As an employee, you have the right to work in a safe and equitable environment, and you also have the right to report discrimination without fear of retaliation.
However, many workplaces do not handle reports of discrimination in an ethical or legal manner. To protect yourself and your rights when filing a report, keep these do’s and don’ts of reporting discrimination in mind.
Do Submit a Report in Writing
You should submit a report about the discrimination according to your employer’s internal practices. Consult your handbook to learn about the process and submit the report in writing to the appropriate individual. Most importantly, submit the report in writing—this will serve as a valuable piece of evidence in your case.
By reporting the incident via email, you can create a document that includes the date, time, and recipient, as well as the nature of the complaint. If you report the incident verbally, send a follow-up email confirming the details of what you discussed.
Don’t Talk About Your Complaint
It’s tempting to talk about workplace discrimination with other people. However, discussing your case with co-workers or on social media could inadvertently harm your case. Unless you believe that your co-worker is also experiencing discrimination, keep these matters private.
Do Gather Evidence, but Take Caution
You should take steps to gather evidence to support your discrimination claim. However, you should be careful about taking documents from your place of business. Review your employer’s policies and consult with an attorney to ensure that you compile evidence in a way that is legal and in line with internal guidance.
Don’t Give Your Employer a Reason to Discipline You
Some employers attempt to avoid workplace discrimination claims by claiming that an employee was fired or disciplined due to other behavior. You want to remove any argument that you deserved the treatment that you received. Avoid violating any company policies, acting insubordinate, or breaking any rule.
Do Stay at Your Job
It can be very difficult to stay in an environment where discrimination is happening. However, resigning from your job while filing a discrimination claim could have a negative impact on your case. Consult with an attorney before making any decisions, but generally, you should not quit, resign, or try to get fired from your job.
Don’t Brush It Off
Discrimination is never okay. Not only is this behavior wrong, but it is also illegal if it is based on a protected characteristic. Discrimination often escalates and does not stop until someone intervenes. As daunting as the task may seem, don’t brush this behavior off—you deserve justice.
Do Consult with an Attorney
Filing a discrimination claim can be a challenging and emotional experience. In these situations, you need an advocate on your side who can protect your rights and represent your claim against your employer.
A New York workplace discrimination attorney can help you navigate the situation and hold your employer accountable for illegal and unethical actions. When reporting discrimination, contact a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal options and plan your next steps.