What Should I Do if I'm Treated Unfairly at Work?

What Should I Do if I'm Treated Unfairly at Work?

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What Should I Do if I'm Treated Unfairly at Work?

Ideally, work should be an enjoyable and rewarding environment. After all, we spend the majority of our daytime hours at work. Unfortunately, the reality often looks different. Unfair treatment, hostile work environments, bullying, and discrimination, are just some of the challenges many employees face daily.

Unfair treatment at work can impact your physical and mental health. Moreover, discrimination could hinder your career progression and reduce your earning potential if you are denied promotions or pay rises. However, discrimination is illegal, and you could qualify for compensation. 

If you do not know what to do if treated unfairly at work, Morgan & Morgan has your back. Our attorneys are committed to fighting discrimination and could help you get justice. Contact us now for a free case review.

When Is Unfair Treatment Discrimination? 

Unfair treatment in the workplace can include a range of behaviors by supervisors, managers, and coworkers, including:

  • Bullying 
  • Spreading rumors about an employee
  • Micro-management
  • Unwarranted criticism
  • Excluding an employee from meetings and training opportunities 

While it is not necessarily illegal to bully an employee or make inappropriate jokes, these types of behaviors can negatively affect employees’ productivity and mental health. 

However, discrimination in the workplace is illegal, and it can be challenging to determine when unfair treatment amounts to discrimination. 

What Is Discrimination?

According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), unlawful discrimination arises when an employee is treated differently based on their:

  • Race
  • Age
  • Color
  • Gender
  • Disability
  • Religion 
  • Marital status
  • National Origin
  • Pregnancy 
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Genetic information

Retaliation against an employee is also unlawful. According to the EEOC, retaliation is the most common reason for discrimination complaints, followed by disability and race. 

If you suffer discrimination at work, you have the right to pursue justice. An employment attorney from our firm could help you hold an employer to account. 

Find a Discrimination Attorney Near You

One of your first best steps, when you experience mistreatment at work, is to consult with a lawyer and determine your options for going forward. Finding an attorney does not have to be an arduous task and can be achieved with a few easy steps:

  • Asking friends and coworkers for referrals
  • Searching for lawyers on your state’s bar association website
  • Scheduling free consultations with law firms near you

Morgan & Morgan Can Help

Fighting unfair treatment can be an uphill struggle, especially if your employer is a large company with considerable resources. However, you have rights and deserve justice if you suffer from discrimination. Our employment attorneys can hold unethical employers accountable. We can protect your rights and:

  • Offer legal advice and guidance
  • Determine if you have a case
  • Gather the evidence required to prove unfair treatment
  • File a discrimination lawsuit
  • Present your case strongly at court 
  • Negotiate a fair settlement

You Could Recover Damages

If you were discriminated against at your workplace, you could qualify for compensation, including but not limited to: 

  • Back pay for wages and overtime
  • Reinstatement of your employment
  • Payments for missed tips, commission, and vacation time
  • Salary adjustments
  • Awards for emotional anguish and humiliation
  • Attorney’s fees and court costs
  • Expenses related to finding and training for a new job 
  • Punitive damages

An employment attorney can analyze and determine the worth of your case. 

Time Is of the Essence When Filing a Discrimination Lawsuit

It can be hard to know what to do if treated unfairly at work. However, timely action is critical if you plan to report unfair treatment and discrimination. Victims generally only have 180 days to file a claim with the EEOC. Depending on the discrimination laws in your state, the EEOC deadline could be extended to 300 days. However, consider consulting with a discrimination attorney as soon as possible after experiencing unfair work treatment. Our attorneys can ensure you are meeting all essential deadlines. 

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

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  • What Can I Do to Help My Discrimination Case?

    There are some things you can do that can help to progress your case, for example:

    • Collecting evidence of unfair treatment such as correspondence and witness statements
    • Following your workplace’s discrimination reporting procedures
    • Reporting unfair treatment to your work’s human resources department
    • File a report with the EEOC and your relevant state agency

    If you are working with an attorney, ensure to answer any communication promptly and sign paperwork in good time.

  • How Do I Report an Employer for Unfair Treatment?

    In the first instance, report the unfair or discriminatory treatment to your company’s human resources department. If your employer does not have an HR department, speak to your supervisor or manager. What to keep in mind when reporting unfair treatment:

    Focus on the Complaint

    You may be frustrated about several issues at work. However, when you report unfair treatment or discrimination, focus on just that. Do not be tempted to stray from the topic and list every problem or grievance you have with the company or coworkers. 

    Be Factual 

    Unfair treatment at work is upsetting, especially if you have suffered for some time. It is only natural to feel emotional and angry. However, if you want to come across as reasonable and believable, try to be as factual as possible without letting your emotions take over. Concentrate on the important details such as the times and dates when the incidents happened and the persons involved. 

    Offer Constructive Solutions

    If you would like to stay with your current employer, you could suggest solutions for addressing unfair treatment and discrimination, such as workplace discrimination training. 

    Do not Make Threats Against Your Employer

    Making threats against your employer, such as saying that you will hire an attorney and sue them, can backfire. Being combative will do little to solve the problem and can create animosity. Moreover, threatening behavior could be used against you if it comes to a lawsuit later on. While you should always consult with an attorney and determine your legal options if you suffer mistreatment, your employer does not need to know.

  • Am I Protected from Retaliation?

    All employees are protected from retaliation under the law. However, although federal and state laws protect employees from retaliation by an employer, the risk of facing retaliation is high. In 2020, more than half of all complaints filed with the EEOC concerned retaliation.

    If an employer retaliates against you, you could have options to fight back. Your employer will have to prove that whatever adverse action they took against you, such as disciplining or firing you, was for non-retaliatory and non-discriminatory reasons. If you feel that your employer, supervisor, or manager is retaliating against you, consider protecting your rights immediately and call a discrimination attorney to determine what you should do. 

  • How Do I Know Whether I am Experiencing Discrimination?

    Knowing whether you are experiencing discrimination, unfair treatment, or justified adverse action can be tricky. However, to have a case for a lawsuit, unfair treatment must have occurred based on your membership of a protective class, such as gender, disability, age, or race. Ask yourself how your employer treats you compared to coworkers not belonging to a protected class. Questions to think about include:  

    • Am I being treated unfairly compared to those not belonging to a protected class?
    • What is the reason for the adverse employment treatment?
    • Is there a link between my treatment and my protected characteristic? 
    • Is there another explanation for the adverse treatment, such as lack of motivation or subpar work performance?
    • Is the treatment aligned with the company’s policies?
  • Can a Temporary Employee File a Discrimination Lawsuit?

    Temporary employees, or “temps,” are generally not ordinary staff members. Instead, temps answer to the temporary agency that hired them out for their temping placement. Temps could be employed by the agency or the company that hired them, or by both. Therefore, temp workers could have a case against the company, the agency, or both.

    Although temps do not enjoy the same benefits as regular employees, they have legal rights and enjoy the same protection under federal and state laws. Temps have the right to be free from discrimination and unfair treatment at work. If you have experienced discrimination as a temp, you can report the incident to your temping agency and the company you are working for. If your report is not appropriately addressed, you can talk to a discrimination lawyer to determine the best course of action.

  • Which Unfair Employment Actions Are Prohibited During Pregnancy?

    The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibits employers from discriminatory acts based on an employee’s pregnancy, childbirth, or a related condition. The protection applies during the hiring process, employment, and concerns:

    • Job assignments
    • Promotions
    • Layoff
    • Training
    • Benefits

    Employers should handle any childbirth or pregnancy-caused disability similarly to other temporary disabilities. Employers are not allowed to ask an employee or job candidate about their pregnancy. Pregnant workers must not be forced to take leave. However, to enjoy PDA protection, a woman must disclose her pregnancy to her employer. 

  • What Are Examples of Age Discrimination?

    Aging is a certainty for all of us. Therefore, age discrimination could affect us all at some point in our working lives. There can be several ways older employees could face discrimination. For example, many older employees have worked their way up the ranks and up the wage ladder. Age discrimination can occur when a company starts to fire older employees for no apparent reason and hires younger workers to fill their shoes for a lower wage. Other signs of age discrimination include:

    • Supervisors or managers making inappropriate comments regarding your age
    • You are asked persistent questions about when you will retire
    • Your employer does not promote you because you are older
    • An employer refuses to hire you based on your age
    • You have to perform more unappealing or menial tasks than other employees 
    • Supervisors or managers treat you poorly

    Adverse action may be a deliberate way to try and get older workers to quit so they can be replaced with younger and cheaper employees. 

    Age discrimination at work can have many detrimental effects on individuals who may find it impossible to get a job, get promoted, and retain financial independence. Mental health issues, such as depression, can be the result. You have the right to be treated fairly in the workplace, whatever your age. If you are a victim of unfair treatment or age discrimination in the workplace, make sure to document what you are experiencing. You could file a complaint with the EEOC and speak to a lawyer to clarify your options.

  • When Should I Work with a Discrimination Attorney? 

    If you have concerns about your treatment at work, seeing an attorney can be helpful to determine whether you are unfairly treated and what you can do about it. Contacting a discrimination lawyer can be particularly important when: 

    • You were wrongfully terminated.
    • The time for filing a complaint with the EEOC is running out or has run out.
    • You have faced adverse employment action due to your race, disability, age, or your membership of another protected class.
    • Your employer retaliated against you after filing a discrimination complaint. 
    • The response you received from the EEOC was not satisfactory.

    First consultations with Morgan & Morgan are always free, so you have nothing to lose by seeking advice from our experienced employment attorneys.

  • Contact Us Now for Help and Advice 

    No employee should have to face hostility, discrimination, and retaliation by an employer. We understand that unfair treatment at work can impact all aspects of your life negatively, including your mental health and relationships. It does not have to be this way. If you are treated poorly at work for a discriminatory reason, we could help you fight back and receive damages. 

    Our determined discrimination lawyers can stand up for your rights and fight for justice on your behalf. If you do not know what to do if treated unfairly at work, let us help and advise you. You don’t pay anything unless we win and recover compensation. Get started now and schedule a free and confidential consultation to determine your options.

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