Equal Rights: How to Fight Back Against Discrimination on the Job
Discrimination is unacceptable in any circumstances and can have far-reaching implications and cause considerable distress to the person who is being discriminated against.
Discrimination in the workplace means that you could lose out on certain opportunities that should be available to you and it makes your time at work extremely stressful and potentially intimidating.
You simply should not and do not have to accept being discriminated against at work and thanks to a greater general awareness of our rights and help from specialists such as Slater and Gordon when it is needed, there is something positive you can do to fight back.
Airing your grievance
If you feel that you are being discriminated against at work, you have several options available to make your concerns known to your employers.
The best way of trying to resolve the issue in the first instance is to make an informal approach to your manager or whoever is your immediate superior. If it is the manager that you have a problem with, schedule an appointment with someone in a more senior position or the HR department if you have one.
If you don’t achieve a satisfactory resolution to your informal approach, the next step will involve airing your grievance officially, which you do by making a formal complaint to your employer that you believe you are being discriminated against.
If you decide to make a formal complaint, you need to ensure that you have an understanding of what constitutes discrimination and read about workplace disputes so you are clear on why you think the way you are being treated is wrong.
If you do not feel that your dispute is being taken seriously or you feel the need to get some initial external support, you might want to consider approaching ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service).
ACAS are there to not only give you some guidance on advice regarding your complaint but they will aim to help you find a solution that is acceptable to both parties by acting as a mediator and talking to you and your employer, so they can get the full picture and establish if there is a case for discrimination.
You have several other options open to you and one of those is to simply do nothing and hope the situation improves or resolves itself.
That is not a move that is particularly advisable if you are unhappy in your work and don’t feel that you are being treated fairly. It is understandable that some people want to avoid conflict and might even fear that they could lose their job if they complain, but there are laws in place to protect your employment rights and prevent this happening, especially if there is a clear case of discrimination.
You could ask to a different team or a different site if that is possible and you think that it would resolve the issue.
Another alternative is to bring a claim to an employment tribunal, but you should be aware that if you have been discriminated against, you only have three months from the date of the alleged incident to make a claim.
Mike Farrell is a personnel director. He enjoys sharing his experiences online. His articles can be found on jobs and career websites.