Workplace discrimination has always existed across the globe and is unfortunately still on the rise. Prejudice based on age, race, gender, and sexuality is still very predominant and sadly too common.
While it is the responsibility of employers to take strict action against any harassment or bullying, many times they fail to act on time and this may have a negative impact on the victim.
If you’re looking for more information on workplace harassment and how to deal with it, we’re here to help. Here’s a short guide on what workplace harassment is and different ways to deal with it.
Let’s take a look.
What Exactly Is Workplace Discrimination?
Discrimination is treating someone differently due to their characteristics. This may be anything from disability, gender, sex and sexual orientation, race, religion or beliefs, pregnancy and maternal characteristics, or marriage and partnership.
Holding an employee under any of these conditions and treating them unfairly is against the law. When such cases go out of hand, the victim may need to get their lawyer to help them out. Whether it is a lawyer in Reading from Blandy & Blandy or any other city, many legal professionals can help out with workplace harassment.
Be it a modern office or a more traditional business, no employee or worker needs to be judged or isolated due to any of their characteristics.
That said, discrimination is of two types – direct discrimination and indirect discrimination.
- Direct Discrimination – Abuse, harassment and unjust treatment of any person in the workplace falls under direct discrimination. Strict action against a female employee who is late and letting a male employee walk free without any action or reprimand is an example of direct discrimination.
- Indirect Discrimination – Rules, policies or procedures that discriminate against a particular group is indirect discrimination. For example, specifying in a job ad that English should be the first language of the applicant is considered indirect discrimination.
Reasons Behind Workplace Discrimination
Discrimination need not necessarily be with a permanent employee, it can start right from the interview and recruitment process. In such cases, judging the employee for their characteristics and making the hiring decision based on that is a form of discrimination. In the same situation, using someone’s financial background against them, too, constitutes as unfair treatment.
That said, positive discrimination like being biased because someone is friendly, hardworking or is well-off financially can also come under this. Bias with a favourite is unfair treatment to the other employees of the organisation and is often overlooked. Here, the person with the bias is subjecting other subordinates to discrimination by focusing on a particular person.
However, many times discrimination can also be baseless without any reason behind it. Whether it is based on something specific or it is random, it is still wrong and is against the law.
Ways To Deal With Workplace Discrimination
While you may think speaking out against harassment and bullying is easier in present times, you may want to think again.
Especially more prevalent in professional settings and offices, many employees often try to overlook any unjust behaviour thinking that it might affect their job. The few people who do speak out against such behaviour are fired or put down without any apologies or actions against the perpetrator.
With this in mind, here are a few ways to deal with such situations –
As An Employer
- Ensure same standards for all employees to prevent any type of discrimination
- Inform your employees of all their rights and responsibilities so they know what to do when they spot any type of discrimination
- Spread awareness about discrimination so that employees can raise their concerns if they identify it in the workplace or if they are subjected to it
- Put in policies and procedures that have strict action against any unjust behaviour or treatment
- Keep updating policies to prevent any chances of discrimination
As An Employee
- Keep yourself informed with employment laws and procedures so that you know what to do in case you notice workplace harassment
- Let your employer or HR representative know that you’re facing unfair treatment and ask them to take action against it
- If you receive no response or lack of action on their behalf, get in touch with an employment law solicitor in Reading or whichever city you reside in to advise you
- Maintain a record of the situations where you were discriminated against with all the details as proof of the incident. Include the place, time, audience, witnesses and dialogues exchanged
- Review the company’s policies as the points may help you with your case
- Get in touch with a lawyer or solicitor to know your laws or receive advice about the course of action you wish to take if there is a lack of response from the company after repeated complaints
Discrimination is a sensitive topic and knowing the right way to go about is important to get justice for any unfair treatment that someone has faced.
By informing yourself about the legal aspects and being aware of the company’s policies, you can find the right way to deal with any harassment or bullying one may face in their workplace. If things get too bad, always consult a legal professional to help you out with the best outcome possible.