You deserve to have a workplace that is free from bad treatment and behavior. Despite having the right to work in an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment, employees may experience these behaviors in the workplace. If you experienced discriminatory treatment from a customer, client, third party, co-worker, manager or someone else involved with your job, you may feel overwhelmed and alone.
It is normal to feel this way as the victim of workplace discrimination. However, you are not alone, and you may be one of the many people who experience this type of treatment. In fact, studies find that more than 90% of employees may be the victim of some type of harassment or discrimination during their career.
What should victims do?
Employees may feel unsure if they can speak out about what they experienced at work. After all, it is quite intimidating to confront an employer, file a report and share a difficult experience. Workplace discrimination can take many different forms, and it can be on the basis of gender, age, religious beliefs and many other factors. For some employees, discrimination can start at the earliest stages of the employment process, even during the interview and hiring stage. If you experienced this, you do not have to and should not remain silent.
One of the most important things you can do is to carefully document what you experienced. If you see an ongoing pattern of problematic behavior, having records of these experiences can help you make a strong case for discrimination. It may also help to speak with others to determine if they had similar experiences. You will benefit from knowing if your employer has a process for reporting incidents and how you can take the first steps in this process.
Protecting your rights and interests
If you are the victim of discrimination in the workplace, you will benefit from seeking experienced guidance and support. Not only can you report what happened to your Washington, D.C.-area employer or HR department, but also you can seek insight regarding the legal options available to you. It may be appropriate to pursue a claim against your employer or others who allowed the development of a hostile work environment.