Workplace discrimination and harassment is a widespread issue in the American workforce. In their 2018 fiscal year alone, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received more than 519,000 calls, 34,600 emails, and 200,000 inquiries to their field offices. The scope of this issue is even larger, as an untold number of other incidents likely went unreported, either because the employee feared reporting the discrimination or harassment, or because they weren’t sure who to speak to or how to proceed.
If you are among the many Americans who have faced discrimination or harassment in the workplace, there are steps you can take to enforce your legal rights. A critical one is hiring effective legal representation. Blair & Ramirez LLP is an employment law firm in Los Angeles that can assist you in filing a claim and receiving compensation and remedy for your mistreatment.
What is workplace discrimination?
In general, workplace discrimination refers to the act of preventing or keeping an employee from something due to a factor beyond their control. Under many federal and state laws, workers cannot be discriminated against on the basis of their:
- National origin
- Disability Discrimination
Discrimination in the workplace occurs when someone is treated unfairly due to one or more of the aforementioned factors. Here are two all-too-common scenarios:
- A woman is fired because she is pregnant and plans on taking leave.
- An employee is denied a promotion because they are close to retirement age.
If you believe you have experienced such discrimination at your place of work, contact our team today. Our team of top discrimination lawyers in Los Angeles can review the details of your case and provide you with guidance on your next steps.
Harassment in the workplace
Repeated workplace harassment can also be classified as discrimination. This harassment could be quid pro quo or involve a hostile work environment. The former occurs when something is exchanged for receiving something of value, such as being offered a raise or a promotion in return for sexual favors. The latter occurs when an employee is repeatedly the target of intimidating or offensive behaviors, such as racial slurs or uninvited touching, which causes the employee's morale and productivity to suffer.
What to do if you experience discrimination
According to a 2016 EEOC report, between 87 and 94 percent of workers do not file an official complaint after experiencing discrimination or harassment. This, in part, could be due to them not knowing what to do or because they feel intimidated. If you believe you are the victim of workplace discrimination or harassment, follow these steps:
Use a small notebook or even an app on your phone to document the discrimination or harassment that takes place. Be sure to keep track of the date and time of the incident and any specific details. Your record could turn into crucial evidence if your case ends up in court. If you are being harassed, make it very clear to the harasser that their behavior is unwelcome and tell them to stop.
Depending on where you work, chances are someone has witnessed what you are experiencing while on the job. Talk to your coworkers to determine if they observed any of this behavior and document it in your notes. You could also inquire as to whether they would be willing to serve as a witness if a formal case ensues.
In addition to your own notes and the memory of your witnesses, there may be other valuable pieces of evidence that could help your case, including voicemails, emails, or other forms of intra-office communication. Take steps to preserve these.
Do not procrastinate
It is important to note that state and federal laws place time limits on how long after the incident(s) a case can be filed. If you miss these important deadlines, you will likely have no legal right to seek recourse. You can start your claim by following the proper steps required by your employer. Your company’s grievance policies and procedures should also be listed in your workplace handbook or on file with the human resources department.
Consider your options
This is an extremely stressful time of life with many unanswered questions and unknowns. Utilizing the services of our top discrimination lawyers in Los Angeles can help relieve some of your stress and give you the confidence that your case is worth pursuing. You may also benefit from the services of a counselor or therapist.
Not only can you do something about workplace discrimination, but you also have several options. Schedule a consultation with an experienced employment discrimination attorney to learn more about your options and which ones might be viable for your case.
Reach out to an experienced employment law firm in Los Angeles
No one should have to endure workplace harassment or discrimination. You are not alone when it comes to facing discrimination and harassment in the workplace. At Blair & Ramirez LLP, we are here to help and can walk you through your options and provide guidance to you. To schedule your legal consultation with our employment lawyers, call us at (213) 568-4000 or complete our online contact form.