Workplace discrimination can have a variety of impacts on your career. It could mean that you never get an interview or that you get passed over for a job, which goes to a less qualified candidate. It could mean that you get ignored for a promotion that you deserve or that they unfairly cut your pay. It could just mean that you do not get the same treatment as the other employees, even though your employer allows you to keep working there, and it is clear to you that they consider you to be less important and less valuable when compared to those other workers.
No matter what discrimination looks like, it could violate your rights. It’s a rough situation to face, both practically and emotionally. It can change your career forever.
One thing you may find yourself wondering, when considering how and why discrimination happens, is what groups face it the most. If so, here is the breakdown:
- Retaliation: 39,469 claims
- Sex or gender: 24,655 claims
- Disability: 24,605 claims
- Race: 24,600 claims
- Age: 16,911 claims
- National origin: 7,106 claims
- Color: 3,166 claims
- Religion: 2,859 claims
While many of these are fairly self-explanatory, it is interesting to see that the greatest number of claims hinge on retaliation. This happens when the employee does something legal, such as filing a complaint against a supervisor or asking for a health and safety inspection due to a dangerous workplace, and then gets discriminated against as a result. Workers who have never been part of a group that is commonly discriminated against may suddenly find themselves in this position, and it can be eye-opening.
What should you do?
If you do face workplace discrimination, what should you do? The first thing to consider is what evidence you can gather to show how and when the discrimination took place. This could include:
- Copies of email messages, text messages, social media messages and the like.
- Copies of pay stubs to show a decrease or change in hours.
- Voice records of calls you received.
- Video records of events that took place in the workplace.
- Witness statements from other workers who saw the discrimination, even when it was never directed at them.
This is not to say that you have no case without some of this information, but remember that these cases can get fairly complex. The more you can do to solidify your story and back up your claims, the better.
Remember, you do have legal rights as a worker in the United States. Discrimination of any kind violates these rights. It is illegal, and you don’t have to simply put up with it as a part of the company culture. Find out what legal steps you should take in Oklahoma.