Even though racial discrimination is illegal, many workers have experienced this in the workplace. If you have encountered racial discrimination at your place of employment, then you can seek legal action. Before taking the issue to the law, you can address this problem with your Human Resources department and see if the issue can be remedied within the company. Because of the complex nature of racial discrimination, it is essential to understand the signs, document your experiences and communicate the situation as soon as it occurs.

Identifying Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination in the workplace involves treating an employee unfavorably because of their race or characteristics associated with their race, including but not limited to: skin color, hair texture, facial features, etc. Additionally, color discrimination involves unfair treatment as a result of someone’s skin color complexion. If an employee is married or associated with a person of a certain race and is discriminated against because of this relationship, legal action can also be pursued. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, racial discrimination can also occur when the person who is inflicting the unfair behavior is of the same race as the victim. If you live in California or another state in the west, there are many west coast employment lawyers who can help you further understand the law. If you think you might be a victim of racial discrimination, contact a local racial discrimination attorney for a free consultation.

Pointing Out Racially Bias Policies

As mentioned, racial discrimination is illegal in the workplace. This also applies to harassment in the form of racial discrimination, including offensive remarks, racial slurs or the usage of racially offensive symbols. Even though the law does not forbid teasing, off-the-wall comments or isolated, light-hearted incidents, harassment is illegal when it comes a frequent occurrence that can turn a workplace into a hostile environment. It is the responsibility of the employer to implement policies that combat discrimination in the workplace. However, if there is an employment policy that applies to all employees without taking race into account, it can be unlawful if it is not directly related to the job responsibilities and has a negative impact on a specific race. If you experience a policy like this, speak to your manager or HR department about your concerns.

Documenting Your Experience

An employment attorney would advise you to document your experience if you believe that you are being racially discriminated against at work. Even if you are unsure about what you have experienced, write it down. You should include specific details in your notes, including date, time, employees or management involved and the exact details of the interaction or circumstance. If the discrimination occurred over email, save and print out the correspondence so you can have immediate access to the evidence. If you have audio or video recordings of the evidence, you might be in even better shape when approaching your Human Resources department with a serious grievance about the workplace culture.

Jot Down Who Witnessed the Discrimination

When you pursue a work discrimination case, your employment lawyer in Los Angeles or HR department, will inquire about who else was present during the incident. In addition to keeping a diary of everything that occurred, you should also include the witnesses who were present and what was said. Your fellow coworkers may be contacted to share what they viewed at the workplace, which may have a serious impact on your case. Additionally, keep in mind that even if your coworkers were not directly involved in the behavior, witnessing the act is enough for them to also file a complaint about the individual or company. During the investigation, employees will be asked a series of questions to properly draw a conclusion. While you cannot guarantee that people will be honest, a consistent record of occurrences can be used to disprove someone else’s version of the incident.

Talk To Your Manager/ Superior

If you feel safe talking with your manager, then feel free to discuss what you have been experiencing at the workplace. However, if your manager is the one who is inflicting disparaging remarks or unfair behavior, then you should bypass your manager and speak either to a higher superior or the HR department. Once you present your case, an investigation will be conducted, which may be followed by a mediation session between all the involved parties. In the event that you feel uncomfortable around the other involved parties, you can ask for an alternative solution in handling the case. Also, when speaking to HR, be sure to state that this behavior is not only prohibited by the workplace’s handbook, it is illegal in the U.S.

Express the Severity of the Situation

Even though your employer should take your racial discrimination claims seriously, you should express that this situation is greatly impacting your performance in the workplace. Do not hesitate to tell them that you are seeking for this situation to be handled and rectified in a prompt fashion. If you sense bias coming from your employer, mention that you were advised by an employment lawyer to try to resolve the issue within the company before taking further action. By stating this, your HR department will be less likely to ignore your claim. If the investigation concludes that there was racial discrimination, appropriate punishment will more likely occur because your employer will know that you are willing to take this issue to the next level.

Ask for a Written Report

Ask your HR department to provide you with a written report each time that you report an incident of racial discrimination or harassment. Even if an investigation is not mentioned in the company’s policies and procedures for handling such cases, make it a requirement for them to conduct one. Also, ask that corrective action be taken place if your allegations are concluded to be true. Your employer is responsible for what happens at the workplace, and racial discrimination should not be tolerated. If your employer is hesitant to agree to these terms, there are west coast employment lawyers who can advise you on how to proceed when an employer is not cooperative or helpful to employees with these types of complaints.

Filing a Complaint Against the Company

If your company investigates your claim but finds that racial discrimination did not take place, then you should contact a racial discrimination attorney. This lawyer can help you file a suit against your employer. In the event that your employer does not respond to your racial discrimination allegations and refuses to conduct an investigation, you can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which oversees compliance for federal anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws. You could also contact your state’s equal employment agency. By doing so, the state would contact your employer, and an investigation would be conducted.

Being a victim of racial discrimination in the workplace can leave you feeling angry, sad, confused and stressed. This type of behavior can make a workplace turn into a hostile working environment, which no employee or independent contractor should be subjected to in order to perform their work responsibilities. Although it may seem like an uphill battle, the law is on your side when it comes to taking a strong stance against the racial discrimination in the workplace. If you are nervous about how to proceed with your current employer, while experiencing this type of behavior, contact your local attorney to find out your options. A racial discrimination attorney will tell you what is lawful and what is not in addition to offering full support throughout this process for you. Knowing that the law is behind you will allow you to pursue your case with the confidence that discrimination or retaliation in the workplace will not be tolerated.