Even though the civil rights era of the 1950s and 1960s ended, there are still many individuals and organizations fighting the good fight. One would think that with the passing of time, society would have evolved past employment discrimination. Unfortunately, this could not be further from reality.
Employment discrimination covers a wide variety of cases every year. The most well known occurring discrimination in the work place ranges from sexual harassment and sexual orientation discrimination to racial, religious, physical or mental disability discrimination. Every state law, as well as federal law, makes it illegal for companies and its employees to harass or treat any individual inappropriately. When discrimination does occur, it is usually by an employee acting on an individual basis without instructions from any form of management. In rare instances is it the unspoken “policy” of a company to discriminate. The government even gives tax breaks to many employers to encourage the hiring of specific segments of the population in order to ensure that every individual is treated the same.
It can be extremely difficult to prove discrimination when it does take place. Many people will say “don’t rock the boat” and advise the victim to turn the other cheek. Just because it can be difficult to prove one’s case, does not mean the inappropriate treatment should just be ignored. The services of an attorney or law firm can help in a situation such as this.
Again it can be challenging to prove an employment discrimination or sexual harassment case. There are a few things an individual can do to help themselves. Should there be an established procedure for the handling of such occurrences, filling out the necessary forms to document the mistreatment can be a plus. When any form of discrimination takes place, the employee needs to keep detailed notes for their records. Always take note of whether or not there were any witnesses, the time, date, and location of the transgression and what the employer or co-worker did to violate the policies and law. Should the behavior continue after informing the management, then even further serious repercussions for the employer can take place.
The best course of action in an employee discrimination situation is to consult with a qualified lawyer. Every case is different and only an attorney privy to the specific details can advise the victim appropriately. Generally, attorneys will not collect a fee for a consultation or until the case is won, depending upon the type of case. When choosing an attorney to represent you, be sure to ask some basic questions such as, “Have they handled discrimination cases before?”, “How many cases?”, and “Were the outcomes successful?” “Interviewing” the attorney will help select a comfortable match for the client.