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How to handle discrimination in the workplace

If you've been discriminated against at work, there are a number of things you should make sure you do. Here are a few things to remember that can help your case later on.

Remember to keep a record of events as they occur. If someone, for instance, won't promote you because of your skin color -- or you assume that's the case -- write down what makes you think that, the date and other information related to the event. Do this every time you feel discriminated against or face discrimination directly in the workplace.

Report the issue to Human Resources as soon as you can. You may need to report to your supervisor first, but if the supervisor is the one causing you trouble, you can go directly to HR. Report incidents as soon as you can; waiting too long means there's a chance witnesses will leave the company or that you'll forget about evidence that could help your case.

Don't be afraid to bring witnesses into the fold. You need evidence to prove your point and get something done about the harassment or discrimination you face. You may not want to drag your coworkers into the situation, but it is for their benefit as well that this situation is resolved.

Know that the resolution isn't likely to happen immediately, and the company may not fire the person responsible for discrimination. It's perfectly normal for companies to retrain individuals or to put them on probation; they don't want to lose the money invested in employees unless they have to.

If you do all this and aren't seeing results, it may be time to take up a lawsuit. Your attorney can take the evidence you've collected to help make a case not only against the individual but the company as well. Our website has more information on the steps to take next.

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The Law Offices of Laura J. Farris

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