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How should your employer handle workplace discrimination?

On Behalf of | May 27, 2024 | Employment Law

Employees have protective rights from discrimination in their workplace. What this means for employees is that any form of harassment, unfair treatment, prejudice or harmful act that may target someone’s age, race, gender, disability, religious belief, sexual interest, national origin or other immutable characteristics covered by federal and/or state law is prohibited in workplaces. Yet, despite an employee’s protective rights, they may still face discrimination in their workplace because rights violations are, unfortunately, nothing new.

When an employee suffers from discriminatory practices, they can take this issue up with their employer, who is generally responsible for handling the matter. There are several steps that employers often should take to resolve workplace discrimination in ways that honor the rights of victims.

Making a detailed report

It is often the responsibility of an employer to make a detailed report when an employee comes to them with a discrimination claim. The employer may need to take notes on who was victimized by discriminatory actions, the name of the harasser and any witnesses, what they did and when it occurred.

Investigation of discriminatory actions

The employer can then use the report to discreetly investigate the claim by interviewing the harasser and any witnesses, reviewing security camera footage and reviewing email or text exchanges. It is often important that the employer does not reveal too much information about the report to hide the victims and prevent exacerbating the issue.

Punishing the harasser under anti-discriminatory policies

If the employer finds that the discrimination claim is true, they can then punish the harasser. The harasser may be suspended, moved to another department or terminated depending on what the company’s anti-discriminatory policies detail.

Taking further actions

If a matter of discrimination is not resolved or an employer does not take the right steps to address the issue, then the victim may need to learn about their legal options to take further action.