Are you undergoing workplace discrimination and you are looking for the best practical tips that can help you cope? If your answer is yes, we’ve got you covered.
While our society has made great strides in abolishing discrimination, we are yet to meet the goal in its entirety. Unfortunately, workplace discrimination is an uncomfortable reality for up to three in every five employees, according to surveys.
What is workplace discrimination? Workplace discrimination also known as employment discrimination refers to unfair and prejudiced behaviors towards protected classes. Treating employees differently or targeting employees due to protected characteristics like race, gender, age discrimination, religion, disability, and others is illegal.
A typical example was what Michelle Cox faced in her workplace at NHS England where she was repeatedly excluded from team events due to her race as a black woman. Nearly 60% of U.S. employees say they have seen or experienced workplace discrimination and many are willing to give practical tips on how to stop it.
If you are experiencing workplace discrimination, here are some practical tips for coping.
1. Consult an Attorney
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One of the primary reasons discrimination remains rampant in our society is the unfortunate fact that many professionals remain silent in fear of retaliation that could impact their careers. However, federal laws aim to safeguard protected classes from backlash.
Employees can talk to lawyers when being discriminated against at work. Employment lawyers will help you fully understand your rights and guide you through the process of enforcing diversity audits on employers, securing fair compensation for emotional distress, back pay, and recovering other kinds of damages.
2. Seek Support
Legal support is not the only kind of support you may need to cope with the situation. Moreover, legal proceedings may take some time, and you might not yet have alternative employment secured. During this time, it’s wise to seek support to lessen the psychological impacts of the experience. Speak to friends and family who can reassure you that your emotions are valid.
Otherwise, reach out to a counselor or therapist. Mental health professionals will offer coping mechanisms while evaluating your emotional and mental health. With this, you will also have valid evidence to uphold claims of emotional distress.
3. Collect Evidence
During this time, collect evidence of the continued behavior, whether you are experiencing direct, indirect, intentional, or unintentional workplace discrimination. Emails, phone calls, voice notes, and even witness statements from colleagues can strengthen your claim.
Even though your attorney will investigate the matter and build a case for you, the more evidence you provide, the better.
4. Speak to Other Protected Classes in the Workplace
In most instances of workplace discrimination, the work environment is also hostile and rife with toxic behaviors and practices. As a result, there’s a good chance you are not the only employee experiencing unfair treatment. And because there is strength in numbers, it is wise to speak to your colleagues about your experiences.
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5. Practice Self Care
When enduring any tough situation where your mental and emotional well-being is compromised, it’s essential to practice self-love and self-care.
Self-care comes in various forms, from breathing techniques and exercise to eating healthy, prioritizing quality sleep, and indulging in pampering activities. These actions will help you manage stress better and reinforce self-worth.
Workplace discrimination is a key role player in toxic work cultures. While these practices are illegal, the problem remains a reality for many professionals. Instead of silently leaving your organization in hopes of finding a better work environment, taking action against your employer or perpetrating colleagues is your legal right as an employee.
Which of these practical tips do you consider the most helpful in dealing with workplace discrimination?