Have you ever felt uncomfortable in your workplace due to comments or actions from coworkers or supervisors? If so, you may have experienced workplace discrimination or harassment. Unfortunately, these issues are all too common, and they can have a serious impact on your mental and physical well-being.
You could be a victim without you realising it, so here, we’ll discuss how you can identify and respond to workplace discrimination and harassment. We’ll also guide you on how to find legal support, and perhaps free legal advice, if you need it.
Identifying Workplace Discrimination and Harassment
Discrimination and harassment can take many forms, and they may be overt or subtle. Some common types of discrimination and harassment in the workplace include:
- Verbal abuse, such as name-calling or insulting comments
- Physical harassment, such as unwanted touching or gestures
- Sexual harassment, such as inappropriate comments or advances
- Age discrimination, such as denying promotions or opportunities based on age
- Racial discrimination, such as stereotyping or using racial slurs
- Gender discrimination, such as denying equal pay or opportunities based on gender identity
If you experience any of these forms of discrimination or harassment in the workplace, it’s important to document what happened, including dates, times and any witnesses. This can help you build a case if you decide to take legal action later on.
Responding to Workplace Discrimination and Harassment
Responding to workplace discrimination and harassment can be difficult, especially if you feel isolated or unsupported. Here are some steps you can take to address these issues:
Speak up – If you feel comfortable, talk to the person who is harassing or discriminating against you and explain how their behaviour is making you feel. Sometimes people are not aware of how their actions are affecting others. The best thing that could happen is them realising their fault and readily apologising to you.
Report the behaviour – If the behaviour continues or if you don’t feel comfortable confronting the person directly, report the behaviour to your supervisor or HR department. Employers have a legal obligation to investigate and address any reports of discrimination or harassment.
Seek support – Consider reaching out to a trusted colleague or a counsellor for support. Remember, taking care of your mental and physical health is more important than anything else during this time.
File a complaint – If your employer does not take appropriate action to address the discrimination or harassment, you may need to file a complaint with a government agency or a lawyer.
Where to Find Legal Support
Choose a law firm that specialises in employment, especially one with extensive experience in handling cases like yours. Many law firms have reviews from previous clients online, which can give you a sense of their reputation and success rate.
It’s important to note that legal support can be expensive, but there are also law firms that offer free legal advice. It’s worth looking into these options if you’re concerned about the cost of legal support.
Experiencing discrimination or harassment in the workplace can be a traumatic and isolating experience. But remember that you have legal rights and options for addressing these issues. By documenting the behaviour, speaking up and seeking support, you can take steps to protect yourself and hold your employer accountable for creating a safe and respectful work environment.