Being Treated Unfairly at Work? 5 Steps to Take Today
We all deserve fair treatment, in life and at work. It’s about being treated equally and with respect and feeling safe and comfortable in your space. When this is compromised, you hold the right to speak out against the unfair treatment.
The way you go about this, however, will have a serious impact on how things progress. Kicking up a fuss at work and yelling at your co-workers or employer isn’t going to get you very far and will likely just make things more uncomfortable for everyone involved. Instead, here are some formal and professional steps to take.
Rather than gossiping about the issue with colleagues, it’s important that you talk to the right people for advice. If you believe that the situation is serious, you might want to hire an employment lawyer right away to help you through the process, or you might rather leave this as a last resort.
Keep in mind that a labour lawyer will be able to help you through the grievance process and make sure that you keep your side clean and professional by using the correct wording in everything you do.
Keeping a record of your unfair treatment is important. Try to jot down as much detail about the events as you can – who was involved, comments made or unfair actions, dates, times and locations as well as any witnesses who might have been around when it happened.
Remember that getting your emotions involved is not going to be helpful for you or the people who will need to sort out the issue. Stick to facts and be specific.
Draft a Letter
Submitting a formal complaint in writing is the right way to go about this, although you might choose to have a verbal discussion first to see if that clears up the issue.
A letter to your HR department should include all the information you documented as well as any evidence you might have thereof. Once more, try to stick to facts and remove emotion from your letter. Remain formal and professional, avoid legal terminology that you might not understand and keep your words simple and to the point.
Once you’ve submitted a formal letter of complaint, you need to take a step back and allow for things to be processed, investigated and dealt with. Try to be respectful of your employer’s time, but don’t let too much time go by without following up on the situation.
In the meantime, try to avoid interaction with anyone who might have been involved in the unfair treatment to whatever extent possible and don’t provoke any arguments in the workplace.
If your employer is unresponsive to your complaint and it goes unresolved, you’re not satisfied with the decision made, or you perhaps continue to experience unfair treatment after the issue was resolved, you might want to contact a labour lawyer to help you escalate the issue professionally and without any negative implications for you.