Discrimination in the workplace is much more commonplace than most people are aware. It can be as extreme as a show of outward racism, sexism or even ageism or as subtle as being overlooked for a promotion. If you feel that you may be a victim of discrimination, it is recommended to contact a labour lawyer to find out more about your rights and the actions that you can take against your employer.
Determining what type of unfair discrimination has or is taking place is often the first step in the process.
- Racism – Discriminating against a person due to their race, color of their skin or culture in the workplace is grounds for a discrimination suit.
- Sexism – Discrimination due to gender or sexual orientation in the workplace is a contravention of your rights. However, it is important to note that in some states discrimination due to sexual orientation has not been made illegal and it is much more difficult to seek justice in these cases.
- Ageism – Discriminating against a person because of their age (whether too young or too old) is also grounds for discrimination.
Discrimination due to disabilities, mental, medical or other conditions may also be taken into consideration as grounds for a discrimination law suit.
Discrimination must fulfill one or more of the following requirements due to one of the above mentioned types of discrimination:
- Being denied employment.
- Not receiving the same salary, wages or benefits as another employee with the same skills and qualifications who is fulfilling the same or similar function within the company.
- Being overlooked for a promotion.
- Verbal, physical or sexual harassment abuse in the workplace by executives, management or other employees without action being taken against them by the company.
- Being dismissed, retrenched or let go from a position.
It will be necessary to provide proof or evidence of any of these factors occurring. Any steps that were taken to attempt to remedy the situation internally such as reporting incidences of discrimination to the human resources (HR) department can also be presented as evidence.
It is very important to report any and every case of discrimination especially if this is an ongoing problem in the workplace or where one person is consistently committing acts of discrimination.
Harassment in the workplace by those who are in a position of power are taken very seriously as these persons can use their power to prevent employees from reporting the incidences.
A labour lawyer can assist you in determining whether you have grounds for a case of discrimination against an employer as well as help you find, record or submit the necessary evidence.
Keep in mind that companies, especially large corporations, have access to best law firms to represent them in a discrimination suit. If you do not have quality representation from experienced labour lawyers, it is less than likely than your case against your employer will be successful in a court of law or to reach a settlement.