Regardless of the contract terms and other factors, no employee deserves to face discrimination in any form at the workplace. There are federal and New Jersey state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of factors like gender, race, religion, age, disability, and national origin. If you believe that you were treated differently due to one or more of these reasons, you should speak to an expert, such as employment lawyer Ravi Sattiraju, for further action.
We have enlisted a few tips that may come in handy for employees.
- Start by reviewing the policies: You must have the employee handbook given at the time of hiring, which will mention policies related to harassment and discrimination. There are protocols for reporting such incidents, and familiarizing yourself is a good idea.
- Gather evidence: Emails, paperwork, notes, and other information can be handy for proving a case of harassment. It is also common for employees to forget certain details, so maintain a notebook that mentions dates, locations, and other things. You need as much documentation as possible.
- Contact HR: In some cases, talking to the party responsible for the discrimination or harassment may yield an outcome, but if that’s not the situation for you, consider contacting human resources. They should ideally guide you on the procedures.
- Take action internally: If HR fails to do something about the case, consider filing a formal complaint in writing. Keep a copy of that letter and ensure all due formalities, as mentioned in the employee handbook, is adhered to.
- Talk to an employment lawyer: As we discussed above, hiring an employment lawyer is usually beneficial in such cases. At the least, you must meet an expert to know the legal options you can consider, which is even more essential when HR or the relevant authorities have failed to resolve your concerns.
- Consider the next step: You can file a complaint of discrimination with the NJ Division on Civil Rights or the EEOC. Your employment attorney will tell you about the process and how you can complete the due documentation and paperwork. The agency is expected to investigate further and take action.
- Explore all options. If there is room for negotiation or mediation, consider that after consulting the employment attorney. Keep in mind that an internal investigation is likely and will require you to cooperate, and litigation is not always financially feasible.