When you’re in your place of work, you expect to be treated with the same respect that you show all of your other coworkers. If one of your coworkers or a boss discriminates against you, you’ll feel more than just disrespected—they’ve committed a crime against you. You might initially be afraid to file a complaint because you fear retaliation, but that’s illegal.
While it can be intimidating to go up against your work after being discriminated against, it’s important to make a complaint so that you can get justice for what happened to you. If this has never happened before, or if it’s happened but you never did anything about it until now, you likely don’t know what your next steps are. Look no further.
Let’s take a look at the first steps you should take after experiencing workplace discrimination.
Read Your Work’s Policy on Discrimination
The first thing you should do after being discriminated against at work is to look into your employer’s discrimination policy. Whether your job is in the public or private sector, the company most likely has a policy about workplace discrimination and what to do if you experience it at your place of work.
The policy will likely mention that discrimination based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, or pregnancy is prohibited by law and is not welcome in their company. After that, it will probably give you resources of who to contact if you have been discriminated against or harassed at work.
Your first steps should be following those instructions. If you skip reporting the experience to your employer, then your claim could be dismissed later since you didn’t ever bring it up to your work. That’s why it’s important to follow your company’s reporting process for discrimination so that it can be resolved internally, or you at least have record of your complaint before taking it any further.
Ideally, your employer and human resources department will look into your complaint and take the necessary actions to hold the party who discriminated against you accountable for their actions. Unfortunately, they might not do that. Which could lead you to the next step.
File A Complaint With the EEOC
If you don’t feel satisfied with how your employer handled your complaint about workplace discrimination, then you have the option to file a complaint with the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). At any point after experiencing workplace discrimination, you could choose to file through the EEOC.
It is also illegal for your employer to retaliate against you if you file a complaint, so keep that in mind while making your decision. Maybe you go to your employer about their policy first, but they retaliated, and now you chose to file a discrimination complaint through the EEOC. Whatever your reasoning, the EEOC will look into your claim and make a record of your complaint.
Your complaint with the EEOC will make them take action by remediating your employer as long as you file within the correct timeline, which is generally 180 calendar days. You can file a charge of discrimination online, in person, by phone, by mail, or at a local fair employment agency.
You’ll need to provide them with all of your evidence and any other documentation that you have to show that you were discriminated against in the workplace. They’ll also need to conduct an interview with you to talk about what happened, what you expect from a charge, and if you want to follow through with the complaint.
Keep Your Own Notes and All Documents
Filing a complaint isn’t the only thing you can do to help yourself after facing workplace discrimination. In order to protect yourself later and help you build your claim, you should take notes throughout the entire experience. This keeps a record of everything that happened, gives you a firm timeline, and helps you be more credible overall.
You should also keep all documentation you have that relates to the discrimination. If you have emails, texts, or any other kind of written communication to prove what happened, then you should keep them. If they’re on your work computer, make sure to print them off so that you have firm copies that can’t be deleted.
The EEOC will be able to use all of your notes and other documents to inform them on what you experienced. All of this is extremely helpful to your lawyer as well if you decide to take legal action.
Hire a Workplace Discrimination Lawyer from Our Firm
You might think that filing a complaint is enough when you’ve been discriminated against at your job, but you could also file a legal claim to ensure that they are held accountable for how they’ve treated you. You shouldn’t have to put up with that treatment or go through the process of filing a complaint alone. That’s why our employment lawyers in Little Rock are here to help you.
At McMath Woods P.A., we understand how intimidating complaints and legal claims can be. We’ll guide you through the process and ensure you feel supported every step of the way. You can trust us to defend your rights and get you justice. Reach out to our office today so we can discuss your legal options.