If you’re facing a hostile work environment, you are left dealing with problematic behavior, degrading comments, and a lack of protection from your employer. Over time, that behavior can take a significant toll on your mental health and wellbeing, leaving you feeling stuck in an unwanted position.
First of all, you’re not alone in this fight. Unfortunately, many Americans face wrongful workplace discrimination across the country. The difference between feeling helpless and finding helpful solutions is seeking assistance from skilled workplace discrimination attorneys.
Read on to get clarity and advice from legal professionals on what to do if you face workplace discrimination.
What’s Considered Workplace Discrimination?
Learning how to spot workplace discrimination is essential to be able to address and resolve it correctly. Workplace discrimination is an umbrella term for the demeaning, degrading, and wrongful harassment someone faces at work due to various factors, including:
- Religious affiliation
- Sexual orientation
- Pregnancy status
- Political association
- Additional identifying characteristics
While there are thankfully both state and federal laws that protect everyone from workplace discrimination, they are hard to enforce on such a large scale. Nevertheless, you should not have to endure any form of harassment. This encompasses any negative language, action, or behavior that excludes or targets that individual for his identity, including:
- Harassment of any kind
- Wrongful termination
- Reasonable accommodation refusal
- Forced retirement or resignation
- Medical-related discrimination
- Demotions or reduced hours
- Favoritism or unfair treatment
- Pointed, demeaning jokes
If you have been experiencing any of the workplace discriminatory behaviors listed above, you must report these in writing to your human resources department or trusted supervisor.
Steps to Take If You’re Facing Discrimination
You should never have to fear taking action against reporting wrongful treatment and discrimination. But, unfortunately, some employers may try to use fear-mongering or intimidation tactics to dissuade you from seeking legal help: remember that you have every right to seek legal help to fight workplace harassment.
When you start your process, there are several steps to take to ensure a better legal outcome. Learn more about them below:
First of all, it’s not your fault that you’ve experienced discrimination in your work environment. While this may be a stressful and uncertain time, especially if you’ve been wrongfully terminated for speaking up, remember that you’re not alone. Sometimes victims are made to feel as if adverse outcomes are their fault. This is not the case. You have every right to file a workplace discrimination complaint without retribution.
Gather Detailed Information
This is one of the most important steps in the process since essential documents will be used in court proceedings. Try to get every detail regarding harassment incidents or wrongful termination in writing. If you’re unsure where to begin, consult an employee rights attorney to see how you can use what you have to hold your employer accountable.
Reach Out to Local Support Networks
If you’re experiencing discrimination based on your identity, it’s beneficial to seek out local resources and networks that specialize in protecting your workplace rights. For example, if you’re a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, check out the resources available to you through the Minnesota Lavender Bar Association (MLBA). You can use these materials to empower you on how to deal with this stressful situation.
Seek Expert Advice
If you’ve notified your supervisor and feel that the situation wasn’t handled properly, it’s best to consult an expert employment discrimination attorney. An attorney will review the situation surrounding your case and determine the best course of action to seek damages and compensation from your employer. This is especially important if you have suffered retaliation for speaking out against your supervisor or employer.
File a Claim
After consulting with your legal advisor from MJSB Employment Justice, you will be directed to the two central agencies to file a workplace claim through which are:
- The Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR)
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Both agencies cooperate together to process claims, like yours. Depending on which organization you apply through you will either file online (MDHR) or through the mail, telephone, or in-person (EEOC). Additionally, you will want to file as soon as possible since there are strict application deadlines listed below:
- EEOC requires application within 300 days of an incident.
- MDHR has an extended application process of one year post-incident.
Working with an expert litigator will help you draft a strong discrimination complaint within the state and federal deadlines. After filing your claim in Minnesota, you will be assigned a copy of your complaint and charge number, allowing you to check the status of your claim online.
Don’t Give Up If Your Claim Is Dismissed!
At this point, your employer will be notified, and the EEOC may seek more information before deciding whether discrimination occurred. Then they will either dismiss your case, attempt to reach a settlement with your employer, or send you a “Notice of Right to Sue.” The latter means that they didn’t find any discrimination, but you can still file a lawsuit in court.
Even though this can be a tedious process, please remember that you don’t need to go through this alone. When you work with the passionate workplace discrimination lawyers at MJSB Employment Justice, you will have legal advocates throughout the entire process.
Contact a Dedicated Workplace Discrimination Attorney Today!
Finding a company that allows you room to contribute, grow, and feel safe is vitally important. At MJSB Employment Justice, we know that no one deserves to deal with workplace discrimination which is why we continually fight discrimination claims in Minnesota. On top of everything you’ve gone through, the last thing you need is to navigate this situation alone. That’s why our caring attorneys will be by your side throughout the entire process to help you understand the law, your rights, and what you can do about them.
If you’re ready to end this wrongful workplace discrimination, contact us today to schedule your free consultation.