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Know how to handle discrimination and harassment at work

People deserve a workplace free of hostility. For some, being harassed or discriminated against causes serious problems. It is imperative that employers address these issues as soon as they become apparent.

The employees play an important role in what is going on in the workplace. If any employee recognizes harassment or discrimination taking place, they should report the problem promptly. For those who are the victims, there are some tips that might help to ensure their complaints are heard and that action is taken.

Control your reaction

It is normal to have a kneejerk response to being harassed or having to deal with discrimination. You should control your temper so that you don't say or do anything that could be used against you. Try to remain calm and collected so that you aren't playing into the other person's negativity. If you show that you are remaining level-headed, you might find that you have a firmer footing for the actions you are going to take.

Document all instances

Many times, harassment and discrimination that lead to a hostile work environment aren't single-time only instances. If they are happening often, keep a record of them. Note where they occur, what time, who is doing the illegal actions, and who was around during the incident. If things are happening in texts, emails, voicemails or other similar methods, keep those so that you can hand them over during the investigation. The more information you can provide about what's going on, the better it might go.

Make complaints in a timely manner

Never wait too long to make complaints. Even if you only have one instance of discrimination or harassment, let your employer know. As more incidents occur, you can refer to the prior issues and build upon those. One of the worst things you can do is to never speak up about what is going on. If you wait too long, there is a chance that witnesses might not remember the incident or potential evidence will be destroyed or covered up.

You should give your employer time to react to the complaints you make about these matters. Don't make a complaint and quit. Of course, if you do find that you have to take legal action instead of simply handing things in-house, you might need to consider leaving the company. You can discuss that with your attorney to see what might be possible.

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The Law Offices of Jeffrey E. Goldman
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New York, NY 10016

Phone: 212-983-8999
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