It is unfortunate that, time and time again, our firm receives calls from potential clients who are experiencing harassment or discrimination in the workplace.
Below, we’ve outlined five critical steps individuals in these difficult situations can take to stop the harassment or discrimination and seek justice. If you find yourself in a similar place, follow these steps to get the help you need and deserve.
1. File a formal written complaint.
It’s essential to get your grievance in writing from the start. Fill out a formal written complaint, and send that report straight to human resources and your supervisors. Whether via an email or text message or it’s handwritten, make sure there are details in the report that specifically discuss the harassment and discrimination you face.
2. Review your employee handbook.
Review any employee handbook your employer may have prepared and distributed to you. There’s information in that handbook on who your employer wants you to send a harassment or discrimination report to.
Unfortunately, in some circumstances, it is a supervisor who is harassing or discriminating against you. In this case, you certainly don’t want to send that report to them. Instead, please send it to human resources or any superiors above that supervisor.
3. Gather all the evidence you can.
Gather and present any evidence that you have concerning your complaints. Attach this evidence to your formal written report. If you have a text message that proves that a co-worker is sexually harassing you, make sure to attach that text message to your formal written notice.
An important side note here: make sure that you also preserve, for your records, a copy of the formal written complaint and any evidence you have. You don’t want to rely on your employer to keep and maintain your proof for you.
4. Follow up in writing.
If your employer decided to investigate a complaint you made, make sure you follow up with them in writing. Ask questions about the status of the investigation and any steps that were taken. Get as much as possible in writing. If any conclusions were reached, make sure you get those in writing as well.
5. Ensure you don’t face retaliation.
Sadly, some individuals who file legitimate harassment or discrimination reports are slowly phased out of their position or given a cold shoulder at work. This is unfair and unjust.
Are you being retaliated against for the formal complaint that you made? Has your pay decreased? Have your job duties changed? Were you moved from a different department? Are you forced to work under a new supervisor? Has the discrimination or harassment increased?
Suppose you answered “yes” to any of the above questions. In that case, you might be facing retaliation, and you might have a claim against your employer for retaliation. But you’ll need to get in touch with a reputable attorney first.
Feel free to give our office a call if you have any questions about this topic. We’re here to help. Contact us today!