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Six steps you should take after being discriminated against at work

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2024 | Discrimination

Being subjected to workplace discrimination can be shocking. It might even be such a surprise that you’re initially unsure whether you’ve been discriminated against or if you’re misinterpreting the situation.

If you suspect that actions directed toward you were discriminatory, you should take action to protect your rights as a worker. Given that this is likely a new situation for you, though, what, exactly, are you supposed to do?

That’s a good question that leaves many Colorado workers stumped. So, let’s dive in and look at some steps you should take after being discriminated against at work.

Steps to take after being subjected to workplace discrimination

There are certain steps you’ll want to take after being discriminated against, otherwise, you might put yourself at a disadvantage if you want to take legal action against your employer. So, if you think you’ve been subjected to workplace discrimination, then be sure to do the following:

  1. Report the discrimination to your employer: Your employer probably has a protocol in place that mandates the reporting of discriminatory behavior. If you don’t report discrimination, or if you wait too long, you run the risk of your employer claiming that the event in question was not discriminatory or otherwise was not as severe as you claim since you didn’t take immediate action. Just be careful with what you say to your employer. You don’t want anything you say to be misconstrued and later used against you. It thus might be helpful to talk to your attorney to figure out the best way to handle your reporting.
  2. Write down your recollection of all discriminatory events: You want to preserve as much evidence of discrimination as possible. You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re forced to rely on your memory of an event that occurred months ago. To keep your recollection of these events clear, write down the date, time and circumstances of each discriminatory interaction. Be as detailed as possible so that you can paint a convincing picture later on if you need to.
  3. Retain communications with your employer: If you end up taking legal action against your employer, you’ll want to be able to show how they responded to your concerns of discrimination. It can be hard to gain access to emails and other written documentation if you’ve been forced out of your position, so try to obtain physical copies of these written exchanges early on.
  4. File your claim with the proper agencies within specified timeframes: If you want to preserve your discrimination claim, then you have to report the discriminatory behavior to the Colorado Civil Rights Division within 180 days of the incident that was discriminatory in nature. If you want to preserve your ability to file a federal claim, then you also have to report the discrimination to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 300 days.
  5. Gather witness statements: You’ll need evidence to support your claim, so be sure to talk to your co-workers who may have witnessed discriminatory behavior directed at you and others.
  6. Prepare for defenses: Your employer will claim that any adverse employment action taken against you was justified, likely due to poor performance. Be ready to counter any claims they may make about how you performed your job duties.

Competently and confidently navigate your workplace discrimination claim

Discrimination can cheat you out of your career, your financial stability, your reputation, and your future. Don’t let that happen. Put in the work necessary to build a compelling and persuasive workplace discrimination case. Hopefully then you’ll be able to find accountability and recover the compensation you deserve.