Being treated unfairly in the workplace or witnessing the unfair treatment of another employee can be a difficult situation to navigate. Most workers in the Washington, D.C. area and elsewhere do not want to allow discrimination or retaliation to take place while on the job, but it can be difficult to know how to properly handle such a scenario. Some workers may understandably worry that they will face negative consequences for reporting and addressing such illegal acts, but reporting may be necessary to protect the entire workplace and to protect workers’ rights.
If an individual is subjected to or witnesses discrimination, he or she should not yield to the temptation to let the discriminatory remark or other action slide. Instead, bringing attention to the incident may help prevent further mistreatment. One way to address it would be to ask the offending person whether he or she really made the statement and point out that it was racist, sexist or otherwise inappropriate and discriminatory. The person may not admit to it, but at least the issue is addressed directly and possibly made clearer to witnesses.
After such incidents, it is also important to report them to supervisors or human resources. Keeping records of what happened, who witnessed the event, and who was involved could come in handy later. Specific examples are often helpful when trying to explain why one believes that another person’s actions were discriminatory.
Of course, even with evidence and support, incidents of discrimination in the workplace are not always handled properly. Management may not thoroughly investigate the complaint or the inappropriate behavior may be allowed to continue. If this happens, workers in the Washington, D.C. area and elsewhere should know that they have legal rights to be free of discrimination and retaliation in the workplace, and bringing their concerns to the attention of employment lawyers may help them pursue justice for such wrongdoing.