Every worker should be on alert – no matter your race, gender or national origin – to the threat of discrimination. In fact, it’s the complacent employees who never expect that they will become victims who often suffer the worst consequences because they never even realize it happened, and they don’t take action in court to defend their rights.

To defend your rights successfully, you may have two questions on your mind that need to be answered. These are important questions that any victim of workplace discrimination should ask:

1. How can I definitively tell that I’ve been victimized by workplace discrimination?

Workplace discrimination appears in many ways. Sometimes it’s overt, direct and obvious and other times it’s expertly hidden. If you suspect that you’ve been victimized by employment-related discrimination, take a look around your office. Notice whether most of the managers are one gender, one race or one nationality. Is the office predominantly one “type” of person? This could be a sign that discrimination is running rampant at your workplace.

2. How do I protect my right to a workplace free of discrimination?

Once you identify that discrimination is a problem at your job, and you’ve been victimized or financially harmed by it, start collecting evidence. Document, date and describe all the details of every discriminatory instance you witness or suffer from. Bring the issue up to your employer, perhaps with the human resources department if you have one, and if your employer does not resolve the matter, consider asserting your rights by filing an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claim.

No one should have to endure the financial and career setbacks caused by job place discrimination. Stand up for your rights and pursue legal action if necessary to stop this despicable behavior.