In the United States, a fair chance at employment can be a guarantee that sometimes evades even the most skilled, talented workers. Though unintentional bias or outright bigotry, there may be some working conditions that make it nearly impossible to work at 100% productivity. Whether you're dealing with a severely unaware workplace or an outright hostile situation, consider a few ways to build a compelling case for either repairing the situation or getting legal compensation.
Stabilize The Situation At The Lowest Level
If you're dealing with discrimination, one of the biggest battles is proving that the discrimination actually exists. Whether you're from a different cultural group or suffer from a disability, it can be difficult to get others outside of your experience to understand what is going on.
Confrontation or discussion are often the first part of solving the problem. It may seem futile at first, but it's best to at least bring your complaint up to the person or persons causing the problem. There are many cases where this isn't wise, such as assault or molestation, but if you're able to discuss the issue without obvious repercussions, give it a try.
Issues such as racism, sexism or making fun of disability may come from a lack of concern from the offending party. If they aren't living in your personal experience, they might not understand that it's more than one or two jokes; it's a continuous life of being treated unfairly on a daily, even hourly basis by many parties. Work life, at least, should be devoid of such issues for the sake of productivity.
Document Your Disagreement
Following confrontation with the aggressor, put the issue in writing if the situation isn't resolved. In addition to a written complaint, send an email to your direct supervisor as well as a team of employment law attorneys. If you're afraid of things getting too serious immediately, place your legal team on blind carbon copy (BCC) so that their emails won't be seen. The main concern is not trapping your company, but having proof that you notified the business leadership.
You need to show that you've attempted to resolve the issue prior to taking legal action. If you don't it may be an easy task to dismiss your issues as pure coincidence. That mistake may lead to increased difficulty at work, as others may be less willing to work with you. That is a small concern when compared with dealing with workplace discrimination, but it's a simple task to accomplish for safety reasons without sacrificing your discrimination claim.
If possible, obtain some proof of the discrimination before making your first legal move. A recording or a written statement may be possible, but make sure that your company doesn't have any policy against recording in the workplace, as this may invalidate your claim.
Try to get eyewitness accounts from other employees, as a pattern of discrimination with multiple reports may be easier to support in court. For help with planning your anti-discrimination defense, contact an employment law attorney like Goldberg Katzman PC.