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Workplace Discrimination

Get help if discrimination is a problem at workThe Issue of Discrimination in the Workplace

Though our society has improved by leaps and bounds over discrimination regarding women, ethnic minorities, physically challenged individuals, and other people who have been prone to discrimination, it does unfortunately still exist in today's workplace. There are imbalances in the higher positions, the pay received for doing the same tasks, and other important gaps that still exist, based on nothing greater than discrimination.

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I feel that I am being discriminated against. I am just about to finish up my maternity leave and my employer has called to let me know that our General Manager is concerned that 'i will not be able to fulfill my duties sinc...
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For example, in 2002, it was reported that the average female's salary was a mere 77 percent of what males were earning. With such statistics, it is impossible to deny that many forms of discrimination, including sexual discrimination, are still very present in today's workplace.

There are many different ways that discrimination may show it's ugly head on the job. It can start as early as the hiring process, where one person is hired over another without justification of abilities or experience. It may also go so far as sexual harassment, where one person is not taken as seriously as another, and is seen only as a sex object. It can even impact the employment benefits received when hired for a position, such as the training received and the vacation time permitted.

If discrimination is to be stopped, however, it cannot be ignored. Action must be taken against it. Successful efforts against discrimination often consist of the following:

Document the events

If you are a victim of discrimination, begin writing down the time, date, and description of the event as soon as it happens, just in case you need to take it to the company, or to the law later on. It will provide you with a written record of everything that has gone on. Make it as detailed as possible, including when it happened, the details surrounding the event, what was said, and if there were any witnesses. Keep the book safely at home - not at your place of work.

Begin small

To resolve a situation of discrimination, you don't necessarily need to storm off to your lawyer. It may be something that can be solved much more quickly and easily. Start at the lowest level you can, for example, to your direct supervisor, and explain your concerns to him or her. Provide specific examples of the discrimination when you can. Provide this communication in writing, and keep your own copy of the complaint. Ask to review a copy of the company's discrimination policy, and look into the company's methods of internally resolving discrimination issues.

Get the law on your side

Though this should not be your first step, if you fail to see results within the company, you must recognize that there are many laws out there to protect you from discrimination, and it is your right to apply them. If the company does not resolve your situation, or did not take you as seriously as you see fit, take your complaint to a government agency. Do it as soon as you discover that the company will not be solving it themselves, because there is a deadline of 6 months in many states.

You are not alone if you are experiencing discrimination at work. However, it is up to you to tell people about it, and have the company, or the law set things right.

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