Example of Reporting Unfair Treatment at Work | Employment Discrimination Lawyer

Reporting Unfair Treatment at Work | Employment Discrimination Lawyer

Tarun Sridharan Legal Editor & Attorney Contributor Read Time: 10 minutes

Reporting Unfair Treatment at Work | Employment Discrimination Lawyer

All employees in America have the right to do their job in a safe environment, free from unfair treatment at work. Unfortunately, not all employers live up to this expectation. Instead of providing equal treatment in the workplace, employers often disrespect and discriminate against their employees. At times, they overlook qualified employees for promotions, and even, engage in sexual or workplace harassment.

It’s important to understand that these actions are unacceptable, and possibly illegal. If you experience harassment or discrimination in the workplace, then you may have a claim for damages under law.

Let’s take a closer look at mistreatment at work and how to report your job for unfair treatment.

How do you tell if you are being treated unfairly at work?

The scope and scale of unfair workplace treatment is vast. Any behavior that seems questionable, disturbing, or that makes you feel uncomfortable should result in an investigation.

Mistreatment, even by a colleague, is a common occurrence and a demoralizing experience. Thousands of employees everyday, face harassment, discrimination, and other illegal job-related actions across the United States. You don’t have to stay a victim. Take steps to report the issue and secure your rights under the law.

Examples of Being Treated Unfairly at Work

What is an example of unfair treatment at work? Unfair treatment at any place of employment can express itself in many different ways, from wage discrimination to gender inequality, favoritism, violence, workplace bullying, and verbal abuse. Signs of unfair treatment at work are:

  • Discrimination due to race, gender, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or any other protected characteristic
  • Spreading false rumors
  • Pay disparities despite equal qualifications and experience
  • Refusing reasonable accommodations for disabled employees
  • Any instances of sexual harassment
  • Punishing those who take parental leave by docking pay or terminating employment
  • Laying off older workers to hire new, younger employees at lower pay
  • Facing employer retaliation after resignation or reporting unfair treatment
  • Being wrongfully terminated without reason
  • Forced to work in unsafe conditions

What is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a landmark piece of federal legislation that revolutionized workplace rights in the United States. This crucial part of the Civil Rights Act focuses on preventing employment discrimination and promoting equality in the workplace.

The Essence of Title VII

  • Prohibition of Discrimination: Title VII explicitly prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This covers a wide range of employment practices, including hiring, firing, promotions, salary, and training opportunities.
  • Creating an Inclusive Work Environment: The Act was designed to create a more inclusive and fair work environment for all, ensuring that employees are judged on their abilities and qualifications rather than personal characteristics unrelated to job performance.

Enforcement and Compliance

  • Role of the EEOC: The enforcement of Title VII is primarily handled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC investigates discrimination complaints, mediates disputes, and enforces the laws against workplace discrimination.
  • Legal Recourse: Under Title VII, employees who face discrimination have the right to file a complaint with the EEOC. If the EEOC’s intervention doesn’t resolve the issue, employees can pursue legal action in federal court.

Expanded Protections

  • Sex Discrimination: While Title VII originally prohibited discrimination based on sex, its interpretation of protected classes has expanded over time. For instance, it now includes protection against sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination.
  • Religious Accommodation: Title VII also requires employers to reasonably accommodate employees’ religious practices unless doing so would cause undue hardship on the business.

Impact on Employers

  • Policies and Training: Employers are encouraged to develop and enforce policies that promote a discrimination-free workplace. Regular training and awareness programs can help in preventing violations of Title VII.
  • Liability for Discrimination: Employers can be held legally responsible for discriminatory practices, whether intentional or due to neglect in enforcing non-discriminatory policies.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 remains a cornerstone in the fight against workplace discrimination. It not only provides a legal framework for addressing grievances but also fosters a culture of equality and respect in the work environment. Understanding Title VII is essential for both employers and employees to ensure a fair, productive, and legally compliant workplace.

What do you do if you are mistreated at work?

Many workplaces have a formal complaint system for these issues. To ensure that documented evidence exists of a formal complaint, it is important to report any problematic actions that happen on the job. Usually, this step of reporting unacceptable or unprofessional behavior happens with your manager or Human Resources.

That being said, we encourage you to get in touch with a qualified attorney as soon as possible, even better if you do it before submitting the complaint. A labor and employment attorney can help you submit a well-documented report. Should the situation evolve into a lawsuit, you will then have a stronger case.

Document the Event

  1. If you received mistreatment, the first step is: document the event as thoroughly as possible. Record the date, time, details, and names of everyone involved. Do the same for subsequent cases, if and when they occur. Document the information during or directly after the event so the details are as accurate as possible.
  2. Next, save copies of memos or emails that exhibit illegal or unfair practices.
  3. To support your claim, the last step is: ask witnesses to record their observations of what happened to support your claim.

All additional evidence you gather can help your eventual legal case. It is not uncommon to file a lawsuit against an employer, so don’t be nervous. This is your right.

How to Report Your Boss for Unfair Treatment

File a Complaint with Human Resources (HR)

Report instances of unfair treatment to the Human Resources Department (or another authority figure in management). The formal letter of complaint should describe the event completely, but concisely. Stay on target and include only information relevant to the event. Alerting HR to the problem is usually a required step if you plan to later file a lawsuit.

How to Write a Formal Complaint Letter

In the formal complaint letter, you may:

  • Identify helpful actions that can lead to a resolution.
  • Refrain from making threats or getting angry.
  • Keep a calm demeanor and offer reasonable solutions where appropriate.

If the complaint ends up becoming a legal matter, any poor behavior on your part could be used against you. As such, it’s important to consult an experienced attorney for guidance before you file a complaint.

How to Report an Employer for Unfair Treatment

If you’re facing unfair treatment in your workplace, it’s essential to know the right steps to take to protect your rights. One effective course of action is to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC is a federal agency that enforces laws against workplace discrimination and can be a powerful ally in your quest for justice.

Understanding the Role of the EEOC

The EEOC’s main role is to investigate discrimination claims against employers. Whether you’re facing issues related to race, gender, age, disability, or any other form of discrimination, the EEOC can step in to assess your situation.

If your complaint escalates into a discrimination claim, the EEOC or your attorney can help you navigate the legal process. They can advise you on the likelihood of success and what to expect as your case progresses.

Remember, reporting unfair treatment is not just about addressing your personal situation; it’s about ensuring a fair and equitable workplace for everyone. The EEOC and legal professionals are there to help you stand up against injustice and seek the resolution you deserve.

File an EEOC Complaint

An employee that has been subject to any type of job discrimination or mistreatment may also file an EEOC complaint. The EEOC, or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, accepts complaints filed in person or by mail with the nearest office. In addition to victims, witnesses of unfair treatment can also file a formal complaint.

Include the following information in your documentation:

  • Personal details of the person mistreated. Include their full name, number, and address.
  • Name and contact information for the employer the complaint is against.
  • Description of the unfair events and the dates they happened.

To prevent the situation from escalating further, speak up. If you feel like your complaint is not being addressed, or that you can’t speak with management at your work, talk with an employment attorney for legal advice on how to proceed.

Filing a Complaint with the EEOC

  1. Gather Evidence: Before you file a complaint, collect any evidence that supports your claim. This could include emails, witness statements, or any records of unfair treatment.
  2. Submit Your Complaint: The process of filing a complaint with the EEOC is straightforward but requires attention to detail. You’ll need to provide your personal details, information about your employer, and a clear description of the discriminatory events and their dates.
  3. Review Process: Once your complaint is filed, the EEOC will review it to determine if there’s sufficient evidence to proceed. They may conduct an investigation to gather more information.

How to Sue a Company for Unfair Treatment

While the EEOC plays a vital role, sometimes taking legal action is necessary. If you believe your case is strong, consulting with an employment attorney can provide you with additional options and strategies. An attorney can guide you through the complexities of employment law, help you understand your rights, and determine the best course of action for your situation.

Not all situations that are “unfair” are actually illegal. So, it is important to know what is employee mistreatment is within Employment Law and At Will Employment.

For example, you were passed over for a promotion or assigned to a different shift. These events are frustrating, but they do not necessarily qualify as discrimination. 

At Will Employment States

Not all states are at will employment states. For those that are, employers can fire employees without notice or reason. Some exceptions apply, like if an employer violates an employment contract or state or federal employment statute.

Regardless if the state is California, Texas, or another state, there’s some behavior that employers cannot express. One example of this is: discrimination based on protected characteristics. Your state may include additional protections beyond federally mandated requirements, so it is important to know the laws in your state. To learn your state’s labor laws, read compliance guidelines and ask the appropriate authorities questions.

Contact Our Experienced Labor Attorneys for a Free Consultation

If you’ve faced unfair treatment in the workplace, you should seek the counsel of an experienced employment and labor attorney to discuss your concerns. A lawyer will be able to help you decide whether you should file a lawsuit and assess the likelihood of success.

Experienced attorneys also have the knowledge and expertise necessary to advise you on the best course of action. They can guide you through the litigation process, help collect necessary documentation, and improve your chances of winning the lawsuit.

Know your rights and don’t settle for being mistreated.

Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free and confidential consultation with an attorney in our network. We’ll connect you in just 10 minutes or less.

Our offices are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we can assist you no matter when your accident occurs.

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