Diversity, equity, and inclusion have taken center stage in the news this year. While there is a variety of ways in which a person can be treated unjustly, we continue to see cases of unfair treatment in the workplace. Discrimination in the workplace has not been stopped by the pandemic and we see more and more cases every day that involve unfair treatment virtually or in-person.
You are protected
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) protects you from employment discrimination based on your “race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, disability, age (age 40 or older), or genetic information.”
It can happen virtually
Harassing emails, text messages, and video calls can all constitute a form of discriminatory behavior. You don’t have to be face-to-face with someone to be discriminated against. You have the same rights working virtually as you did when you sat in the same room as your colleagues.
It can be anyone
On tv shows and mainstream media, you often hear of workplace discrimination cases that involve a manager or company owner. In reality, discriminatory behavior can come from supervisors, but it also comes from co-workers, vendors, contract staff, clients, and mentees. If you experience illegal behavior from a co-worker, it is essential to your case that you report it to your manager, human resources department, or other supervisory individual.
Retaliation is illegal
You have the right to report illegal activity such as workplace discrimination. An employer cannot punish you for “asserting your rights” to be free from discrimination, which is considered a protected activity under the law. Did you know that “retaliation is the most frequently alleged basis of discrimination in the federal sector” and the most common discrimination finding in federal sector cases? It’s not as rare as you might think.
Discrimination can be disguised
While workplace discrimination often takes the form of inappropriate messages, daily insults, and uncomfortable conversations, it can be something else entirely. Discrimination can be a denial of a workplace change because of your religion or disability or even unequal pay for a similar job because of your race.
You are protected from discrimination by the law and you deserve to be treated with respect. Don’t wait too long to decide to stand up for your rights as there are strict time limits for filing a job discrimination complaint with the EEOC.
Workplace discrimination cases can become complex very quickly which is why it’s important to have a lawyer by your side. If you believe you are being or were discriminated against at your job, contact Liberty Trial Law Group at (816) 792-4400.