Discrimination in the workplace is a serious issue that could happen at any time to anyone. Whether you feel that you may be experiencing discrimination or if you witness someone possibly experiencing discrimination in the workplace, it is important to address it. If you feel that you or someone else could be experiencing workplace discrimination, knowing the right steps to take could help address it.
Types of Workplace Discrimination
Discrimination in the workplace is illegal discrimination based on protected characteristics. In Alabama, these characteristics include:
- National Origin
- Genetic Information
- Any other characteristic protected by law
Discrimination on these characteristics can come in numerous forms, such as: a lack of diversity, offensive comments, inappropriate language, or intentional actions that can be hostile. If you feel you or someone else may be experiencing discrimination, continue reading to learn what ways you can take to address the situation.
What to Do If You Feel You May Be Experiencing Discrimination at Work
If you feel that you may be discriminated against based on one of these protected characteristics in the workplace, there are a few steps that you can take.
In many cases, it can be difficult to address the behavior you deem inappropriate or hostile directly. If you are uncomfortable addressing it, you can report the behavior to your supervisor, the Human Resources department, or, if applicable, your union.
You can also submit claims externally to your state department of labor, local human rights commission, or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In your report, you must provide information on the person being discriminated against and the business. You should provide a detailed description and timeline of the account. As much information as you can provide will help the organization investigate the claim.
What to Do If You Feel Someone Else May be Experiencing Discrimination at Work
If you feel someone else may be experiencing discrimination, the steps to pursue action are similar. If you see what you think may be discrimination firsthand, you may step in and calmly address the situation, if you feel comfortable. Ways of stepping in could involve:
- Directly addressing the behavior you find inappropriate or hostile
- Ask the employee who is the target of concerning behavior if they are okay and encourage them to report the interaction
- Ask for assistance in the situation by addressing the situation in numbers
- Separating the employees
You can also speak to your Human Resources department and make a report or reach out to an external agency, such as the EEOC, to form a report. Even if you are not the person that may be experiencing discrimination, outlining a detailed timeline will help internal management or external organizations with their investigation.
Reach Out to an Experienced Attorney
Discrimination is a critical issue, and many factors can determine the right course of action. That’s why speaking to experienced attorneys can help you address workplace discrimination effectively. The attorneys at have a long history of advocating for victims of workplace discrimination.
Contact us at (205) 265-1880 to find out more about how we can help you.