When you are at work, there are many different ways you can be discriminated against. The United States defines discrimination as deleterious treatment based on race, religion, gender, or national origin. There are some other categories sometimes included and some subcategories that flow from those broad categories. Whatever the case may be, you have rights as an employee.
When you are discriminated against, you have the right to petition your employer, the human rights department, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), National Labor Relations Board, and some other organizations. Which organizations you petition often depends on the nature of the discrimination. However, the most common discrimination actually happens next.
According to the EEOC, 49% of workplace discrimination cases are actually retaliation cases; it is the plurality of all discrimination cases. Retaliatory discrimination takes two basic forms. In one instance, an employer or supervisor will discriminate against an employee for filing a discrimination claim. For example, if a supervisor treats an employee poorly for her gender and she files a claim, he might continue to do so because of the complaint at that point. The other type of retaliatory discrimination often flows from types of harassment. For example, an employer might ask an employee to perform some task that isn’t part of the job description.
If the employee refuses to do that task, the employer might then discriminate against them.
Forms of Discrimination
Discrimination is not always obvious. Sometimes, it takes some rather subtle forms. Even tasks that are part of your job description could be considered harassment. For example, if cleaning bathrooms is a regular part of your job, it might be the thing that no employee wants to do. If your supervisor only ever tells you to clean bathrooms, and not one of your coworkers, that could be discrimination.
What To Do
If you think you are a victim of retaliatory discrimination, you need to call an employment attorney. Employment lawyers specialize in cases that involve discrimination at work. Since retaliation is such a common type of discrimination, it should be fairly straightforward to explain your case to your attorney. Your attorney will then be able to help you decide if you have a case to proceed with. In some cases, all that is required is calling an attorney; that might be enough to get your employer to take action to make it right. It’s also sometimes the case that you have to actually pursue the remedy.
Do you think you may be a victim of workplace discrimination? Call Boise employment law attorney Jeff Townsend today to schedule your free consultation!