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How to address discrimination at work

If you are experiencing a form of discrimination at work, you most likely want to do whatever you can to make it stop. However, it can be difficult to know exactly how to proceed because confronting your employer about discrimination is a delicate situation.

It is important for you to exercise your rights as an employee so that the discrimination does not continue. You may even have grounds to sue your employer based on your experiences. The following information can help you devise a strategy for how to address the discrimination you are experiencing in your workplace.

Make a paper trail

You need to keep a record of every incident that you believe is discrimination. In this journal, include when each incident happened and what time, where it took place, everyone who was involved and details about the speech or conduct. 

Review your company's policies and procedures regarding how to report discrimination and follow them to the letter. When you report the incidents, include the record that you have kept and request that your employer make a written report in addition to conducting an investigation.

Understand your rights

Many employees do not report workplace discrimination because they fear retaliation by their employer. This retaliation can take the form of further harassment or discrimination as well as unlawful termination. Despite any fears you may have, you should address the discrimination you are experiencing because the law protects your rights. In California, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing protects employees. In neighboring Nevada, the Nevada Equal Rights Commission serves a similar function.

Federal law also protects your rights. You may file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding the misconduct, and if your employer does not correct the issue, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.

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