Discrimination in the workplace will never be acceptable even if you think the person seems not to care about it. People need to be respected regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, culture, religion, health, disability or social status. The world will be a better place if every person learns to accept and respect each other’s differences.
Sad to say, discrimination continues to linger to this day even if there are so many organizations and groups that fight against it. Discrimination does not only cause the person pain but it can even affect one’s mental health.
How to handle discrimination in the workplace?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Fair Employment Practices Agencies have closed over 100,000 discrimination cases every year.
The place where you feel at home and safe could be the same place where you face and witness different variations of discrimination. Though there are laws that protect the rights of all employees, there are still a number of companies that overlook the seriousness of these laws.
1. Let your colleagues know that their actions are unacceptable.
There are times that people are not fully aware that their actions and words are discriminating and disrespectful. It is either they are insensitive or just clueless. However, you need to take the high road and tell them frankly yet politely that it is not right and that you feel insulted or disrespected.
They may see your response as too aggressive but at least they know now that you will never tolerate such behavior. It is also a way of encouraging other workmates to speak up when they feel discriminated against.
2. Let your employer or human resource officer about discrimination.
If you have been direct and honest to your workmates and still they continue to insult and disrespect you, it is high time to raise this issue to your employer or to your human resource officer. They have the power to protect you and other employees from discrimination.
Be firm in filing your report. Make sure that there is a written report every time there is an incident of discrimination. Cooperate when there is an investigation so that your workmates who offend you will receive disciplinary actions.
3. Address any unfair treatments in your workplace.
Discrimination does not only mean saying derogatory and rude comments to you but it is also about treating you unfairly when it comes to promotions, salary and other benefits.
If you feel that you are given less opportunities than your workmates to advance your career it may be the best time to reassess your work ethics and qualifications. When you know that you deserve a promotion but your employer refuses to give it to you, ask them for their reasons. If their reasons hint of discrimination, take action. Seek help for your human resource officer or from a lawyer.
4. Read about your company’s policies on discrimination.
Many companies now have revised their handbook to include anti-discrimination policies. This is to raise awareness among all employees that any forms of discrimination are not acceptable and will never be condoned.
Know these company’s policies and use these as your weapon whenever someone discriminates against you. You need to educate them that the company is serious in dealing with this matter. But if you company does not have any anti-discrimination policies, you have to step up and speak up louder about this important policy.
5. Consult federal and state laws.
They always say that it is helpful and important that you know your rights and privileges as an employee. You do not have to be afraid to speak up and fight against discrimination because there are laws that protect you. Review and understand the laws in your state made for employees like you.
You can always consult a lawyer to give you a clear understanding about such laws. Lawyers can also help you decide on the next step. You just have to be ready and be brave in pursuing legal actions against discrimination in your workplace.
How to protect your mental health?
Discrimination in the workplace has a lasting effect on someone’s mental health. It is never easy to deal with discrimination especially in a place where you go every day and from people you always interact. It brings down your confidence, drains your energy, affects your performance and raises mental health issues.
At work, you need to be alert and active all the time to be effective and efficient. But if discrimination against you is constantly happening and is slowly taking over your mind, you need to do something about it.
Even if you have resorted to taking legal actions against your offenders, it takes time to bring back your confidence and trust in yourself. You need to ask help and guidance from qualified therapists and psychologists. It is the right time to attend therapy near me and counseling sessions to relax your mind from all the troubles.
Mindshift Psychological Services applauds people who have risen above their horrible experiences on discrimination. They extend help and support for those who want to focus their minds into positive and healthy things. Some of their services are Trauma Therapy near me, Depression Therapy, Individual Psychotherapy and LGBTQ+ Therapy near me.
If you are in dire need in dealing with mental health issues cause by discrimination, you can schedule for an appointment or contact them at (714) 584-9700.