Workplace discrimination can be defined for legal purposes as any distinction, exclusion, or preferential act based on a person’s race, religion, sex, color, political views, or place of origin which results in unequal treatment or selection for hiring or promotion.
Although US society has made great progress in outlooks on civil rights, there are still frequent cases of discrimination in the workplace. It is currently a topic of concern; therefore, the federal government has passed several laws absolutely forbidding a business or supervisor to discriminate against employees for any reason other than the employee’s work, no matter their physical appearance, personality, beliefs, or opinions. Since the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, any type of discrimination based on race, color, ethnic group, gender, or religion is prohibited. In 1967, age discrimination was added to the factors, and finally in 1990, physical or mental impairment.
All of these rights apply for everyone at the workplace and are guaranteed and protected by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is the agency that reviews all kinds of workplace discrimination lawsuits.
What should I do if I am the victim of workplace discrimination?
If a person believes he or she has been the victim of workplace discrimination, the worst thing to do is nothing. It shouldn’t matter who is guilty of discrimination (a coworker, supervisor, or third persons), it should always be reported to Human Resources, to the supervisor, or directly to the manager. The company should have a process to follow in this type of case. If the person in charge resists a report being made, that should also be reported. These reports should be in writing, and it is advisable to save a personal copy. The next step is to file a charge with the EEOC, and with the document which they will give you and a good workers’ compensation lawyer, file a lawsuit in court. The compensation which a good workplace discrimination lawyer can help you obtain could include the following:
- Missed pay
- Compensation for emotional distress
- Future damages
- Attorney’s expenses