There is typically a clear path for reporting workplace discrimination
if it happens to you, but what happens if you witness someone else being
victimized? It can helpful to speak to an employment law attorney as you
decide what steps to take. An
employment lawyer in San Jose, CA, can help you determine if what you witnessed qualifies as discrimination
under the law and protect your rights if you experience any retaliation
if you choose to speak up. Here are some of your options if you believe
you have seen discrimination at work.
Speak to a Supervisor
If you witness discrimination happening, your first option is to discuss
the incident with a supervisor. The supervisor may be willing to intervene
and take any necessary action to prevent it from happening again in the
future. If the incident involved your supervisor, then you may choose
to go to someone higher up in the organization instead. If you decide
to speak to someone about the discrimination, document your conversation
and consider making your complaint in writing, such as via email. If you
eventually need to seek the help of an employment lawyer, this documentation
can be helpful in establishing the process you went through.
Speak to Human Resources
The human resources, or HR, departments at most companies are in charge
of initially handling cases such as these, so alerting them to what you
have seen could trigger an investigation. You should also document this
interaction in case you need to refer to it later or provide information
about it to your employment lawyer.
Be Alert to Retaliation Actions
When you speak up against discrimination at work, you become a whistleblower,
and you have very specific protections under the law. You may not be denied
benefits, passed over for promotions, threatened, disciplined, or terminated.
Your employer may also not demote you or reduce your hours or pay. If
these incidents occur when you speak up, document them and contact an
employment lawyer who can help you fight for your rights.