Workplace discrimination hurts everybody at the company, not just the victim. When it becomes a normal, accepted part of the workday, employees become less inclined to speak up about discrimination when it occurs, creating a cycle where targeted individuals are continually shortchanged and shut out due to bias.
Discrimination victims can suffer steep financial damages because of the treatment they face. A premature termination or being passed over for promotion can mean lost wages and missed advancement opportunities, and facing harassment on a regular basis can be detrimental to an employee’s health, causing him or her to miss work frequently.
Workplace discrimination comes in many forms. Examples of workplace discrimination include:
The primary federal law that prohibits workplace discrimination is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the decades that followed, additional laws like the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 amended it to include additional protected classes. Other important federal anti-discrimination laws include the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). Under federal law, it is illegal to discriminate against an individual based on his or her race, sex, religion, disability status, national origin, genetic information, and age if he or she is over 40.
Ohio’s anti-discrimination law also includes ancestry and military status as protected classes.
Document everything you feel supports your claim. This can include copies of emails or meeting notes, images or other content that was shared with the office, or your own dated documentation of face-to-face instances of inappropriate behavior. Take this documentation to your company’s Human Resources department to discuss your experience and see if you can resolve the issue.
If you cannot resolve the issue, you may file a discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Talk to an experienced lawyer before doing so to ensure that you have grounds and sufficient evidence for a claim. Your claim may result in a settlement for a compensation package. If it does not, you may continue to pursue compensation for your damages through a discrimination lawsuit.
You should never accept discrimination in your workplace, whether it is happening to you or to a colleague. If you are a discrimination victim, work with an experienced employment discrimination lawyer to file a discrimination claim and pursue compensation for your related damages. Contact Marshall Forman & Schlein LLC today to set up your initial consultation with us to learn more and start working on your case.
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