If you’re employed in Illinois, it’s important for you to know your rights in the workplace. Many workers face harassment and discrimination, and relatively few do anything about it.
What is employment discrimination?
Employment discrimination can be based on any of several factors, including:
- Sex or gender
- Race or national origin
Manifestations of discrimination can include written or verbal harassment, being the target of offensive images or objects given to you or left in public areas, unfair job assignments or other less favorable treatment and improper questioning about specific conditions.
What should you do if you’re being discriminated against?
When facing discrimination in the workplace, one of the most important things you can do is to document what you’re experiencing meticulously. Record dates, times, locations, witness names and what exactly happened. If you can take photographs, that’s a bonus.
Another step is to look into your company’s policy on discrimination. Many companies have written policies, and if you can show that your treatment directly violates those policies, it strengthens your case.
You should also make sure to make your employer aware of your discrimination. Employers often attempt to defend themselves by saying they were unaware of the activity. By notifying your employer, you remove that possibility.
After notifying your employer, ask for written reports from them each time you report an incident of discrimination. This shows that you’re taking the discrimination seriously, and also gives more documentation of your employer’s awareness of what’s happening.
Finally, if you’ve communicated the discrimination to your employer and received no adequate response, you can contact the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). This agency is responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination laws at a federal level and can put you in touch with your state agency.
You should never have to tolerate discrimination at the workplace. But you must follow certain procedures to ensure you can end the discrimination and receive the justice you deserve.