Workplace discrimination occurs all the time. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that many times when workers, including those in upper management and at the executive level, report discrimination they are retaliated against by their employer. They may be subjected to a demotion, reassignment, or even termination. They may be ridiculed or otherwise subjected to a hostile work environment, and as a result they can be left feeling uncomfortable and unwanted in their workplace. They may even feel threatened.
If you’re being subjected to that kind of behavior, then you should consider taking legal action. But as you’re reading this blog post, you may be wondering how you even go about building a workplace discrimination case.
Steps to take to build your discrimination case
The good news is that you can be proactive in gathering the evidence that you need to support a workplace discrimination case. Let’s look at a few of the steps that you can take to protect your interests:
- Take notes: This might sound elementary, but keeping notes can be crucial to building your case. By writing down every instance of discriminatory behavior, being sure to cite details such as location, date and time, who was involved, and the context of the event, you can ensure that you’re able to paint a clear picture of discrimination later on. This can give you conviction in your legal arguments, as you won’t be relying on your memory alone. Additionally, taking notes can help you establish a pattern of discrimination, which will buttress your case.
- Speak to witnesses and other employees: Workplace discrimination usually isn’t an isolated event. Therefore, consider talking to your co-workers. Doing so may lead you to discover just how widespread the behavior in question is in your place of employment. When you speak to individuals who have witnessed discriminatory behavior, be sure to obtain their personal contact information. You may need them to testify later on, so you’ll want to be sure that you have a way to get in touch with them, even if they leave the company.
- Look at disparate impact: Sure, some workplace discrimination is blatant. But other forms lurk in the shadows. For example, businesses sometimes implement policies and practices that are neutral on their face, but in practice disproportionately affect those of a protected class. If you suspect this form of discrimination, then you’ll probably need to start gathering statistics and speaking to those who are negatively impacted by the policy in question.
- Protect your employment record: If you’re going to take legal action against your employer or former employer based on a negative employment action that you think was discriminatory in nature, then you need to be prepared to defend your employment record. This is because employers in these situations often argue that their action was taken for a non-discriminatory purpose, such as poor performance. So, be diligent in collecting information and even data that shows that you were effective in your position.
Stand up for your rights
As an employee, you have strong legal protections. However, time and again we see individuals simply brush off discrimination and harassment out of fear that there’s nothing that they can do to remedy the situation. Don’t let that be you.
By diligently working to gather the evidence that you need to support your case, you’ll find comfort in standing up to have your voice heard. Skilled employment law professionals like those at our firm know how to build these kinds of cases to ensure that individuals like you are as fully protected as possible. If you’d like to learn more about the strength of your case and what your realistic outcomes might be, please consider contacting a firm like ours to discuss the matter further.