Discrimination is the manifestation of bias in the workplace that can have a harmful impact on its victim as well as others in the workplace. Although discrimination can be blatant, such as relentless harassment of an individual or group in the workplace or the clear denial of promotions to a specific group or individual, it can also be subtle, going on for years without anybody noticing or taking a stand against the offender.
If you are a victim of discrimination or you see it happening to others in your workplace, do not simply stand by and allow it to continue. You have the right to a workplace free from discrimination. To learn more about exercising that right, speak with an experienced employment lawyer.
Discrimination can occur based on any characteristic of the victim, such as the following:
Discrimination based on most of the characteristics above is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Those that are not, such as gender identity, are protected by Illinois’ state laws regarding workplace discrimination.
As discussed above, discrimination can be subtle or overt. Overt examples of discrimination can include asking a female job applicant if she plans to have children within the next few years and refusing to promote individuals who are not a specific race beyond a certain point in the company’s hierarchy.
Examples of subtle discrimination include the following:
If you experience discrimination in your workplace, you might not know how to handle it. You might also feel that if you do take action, you will lose your job or face another type of disciplinary measure. This is known as retaliation. Although retaliation does happen, it is illegal and you can file a retaliation claim against your employer to seek compensation for your damages related to the retaliation.
Take note of every instance of discrimination you face. These are important pieces of evidence to support your claim when you discuss it with Human Resources and your lawyer. Always try to resolve discrimination problems with Human Resources before involving a lawyer and contacting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Often, no further action beyond working with Human Resources is necessary. But when it is, speak with a lawyer about your experience to determine the right course of action. If he or she recommends working with the EEOC, he or she can handle your claim and determine an appropriate settlement for your losses.
Discrimination in the workplace hurts every member of the company. If you are a victim of discrimination, speak with an experienced employment lawyer about filing a discrimination claim to pursue compensation for your damages. Contact The Law Offices of Mitchell A. Kline today to schedule your free legal consultation with us.