Those who experience workplace discrimination due to age, gender or another characteristic know how hard it can be to speak up about it. Most people do not want to draw attention to something so personal and offensive.
Some victims believe they should not bring up mistreatment to anyone in their workplace and instead move on to the formal complaint process. Reporting discrimination is generally a vital step in resolving the matter, but fear and shame stop some from speaking out.
Do you fear retaliation?
For most workers, even a brief disruption in income could cause potentially severe hardships for their families. Fear of getting fired or otherwise punished by an angry employer stops many from reporting discrimination.
In these situations, find someone you feel comfortable speaking with and tell them what is happening. For example, you may feel better reporting the conduct to Human Resources rather than talk to your manager.
Do you feel humiliated?
Another issue that stops victims from reporting discrimination is the sense of pervasive humiliation these behaviors can cause. Most just hope the perpetrator stops the offensive conduct and that co-workers forget it happened.
There are at least two reasons why ignoring the behavior might not make it stop. First, the person discriminating against you may lack the awareness to realize their conduct is offensive and unlawful. Second, they may believe they can get away with it and victimize you even more.
Yes, it is indeed hard to report workplace discrimination. But remember, there are California laws in place that protect victims and others who report discrimination.
If you’re not able to resolve the issue within your workplace or you’re dealing with retaliation, getting legal guidance can help you seek a remedy for your mistreatment. Your actions now can improve your workplace and prevent others from suffering similar treatment.