Even though most forms of workplace discrimination is illegal in the state of California, there are some who still experience it. Those who are actively discriminated against often find that their productivity and progress is impacted. They may also experience anxiety and work-related stress. However, there are certain steps workers can take to eliminate discrimination.
It should be noted that only discrimination in the workplace that meets the Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions guidelines is considered to be illegal. Types of illegal discrimination include discrimination based on age, sex, gender, pregnancy, race and religion. Retaliation for reporting discrimination is also illegal. If a worker is experiencing illegal discrimination and the work environment has become hostile as a result, the worker should email or talk to the coworker or supervisor about stopping the behavior. Using an email provides a paper trail in the event the situation needs to be escalated.
If the discrimination continues, it may need to be reported to the higher-ups. Management or Human Resources personnel usually have a process for reporting discrimination. Workers should send a follow-up email so that they have proof that the appropriate channels were contacted regarding the discrimination. If the issue is not resolved, an EEOC complaint can be filed.
In the event that an employer does not resolve a workplace discrimination issue with an employee, an employment law attorney may assist. If the discrimination results in financial losses, such as lost income, the attorney may negotiate with the employer to recover those losses. If the employee is wrongfully terminated or retaliated against for making the workplace discrimination claim, on the other hand, the attorney may litigate. Depending on the impact of the wrongful termination, the former employee may have the ability to seek compensation for lost future income, lost benefits and any back pay that the employer may have owed.