Tips on Protecting Yourself Against Employment Discrimination

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Tips on Protecting Yourself Against Employment Discrimination

Bias is a natural phenomenon that everyone experiences, but when personal biases cause discriminatory choices at work, the behavior can be classified as illegal. Workplace discrimination is unfortunately far too common and can often be hard to identify. If you are an employee in California, you have legal protections from employment discrimination, but how can you protect yourself at work? 

Know the Law and Your Rights

Information is powerful, so arm yourself with as much information as possible about your rights as an employee in California. Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination based on numerous protected classes, some of which include:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Disability status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Pregnancy

Employment discrimination can take many forms, but knowing the law can make it easier to notice. Employers cannot fire you just because you become pregnant. Managers cannot refuse to give you a promotion due to your religious beliefs. You cannot be paid less because you have a disability. These are examples of discriminatory practices, but an employer can break anti-discrimination laws in many more ways. 

Gather Evidence of the Discrimination

If you suspect you are being discriminated against, collect evidence of these behaviors. You will need proof of the unfair treatment in order to make a claim against your employer, so gathering evidence is a powerful way to protect your interests. Direct evidence is especially beneficial, but circumstantial evidence can also be used to support your claim. Emails, coworker statements, and performance reviews could all potentially be useful. 

Take Notes

Write down instances of discrimination while the memory is still fresh. Include as many details as possible, including date and time data, the people involved, and the specific behavior you believe constitutes discrimination. It is especially important to keep a record of events if there are repeated events or incidents with the same person. 

Report the Discrimination

You may feel you need to take time to gather evidence and take detailed notes, but you should not stay silent forever. Let your manager or HR department know that you are being discriminated against. Notifying your employer about your concerns is a vital part of protecting yourself. If you do not feel safe reporting to anyone within your workplace, you may be able to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

Employment discrimination is meant to make victims feel intimidated, belittled, and alone, so it’s understandable if you are experiencing any of these feelings. The Law Office of Jeannette A. Vaccaro is here to support you through your discrimination case. We strive to empower our clients during a time when they may feel powerless. Contact us today for a consultation. 

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