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.