Being employed is an important aspect of most California residents’ lives. You may have had to search long and hard before you found a position that fit your skills, and you may have felt elated when you landed the job. However, after some time in your position, you may have begun to feel as if something was not right.

At first, you may have heard co-workers, or even your employer, make inappropriate remarks in the workplace. In some cases, people may have directed those remarks at you or at your expense. You may have ignored the behavior at first, but as it continued or even got worse, your work and well-being may have begun to suffer.

Discrimination in the workplace

When the issue was only a remark here or there, it may not have bothered you too much. After all, some people are just rude or have no sense of decorum. However, when you went out for a promotion and it was given to a less qualified person, you may have felt more uneasy, or perhaps you needed to take leave but your employer offered much less time than other workers received. As such negative actions continued, you began to suspect discrimination.

Unfortunately, workplace discrimination continues to affect individuals across the country, and you may believe that your co-workers or employer have mistreated you based on one of the following protected characteristics:

  • Race
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Genetic information
  • Pregnancy
  • Ethnicity
  • Skin color
  • Disability

If so, your workplace may have quickly become a place where you did not feel welcome or, possibly, did not feel safe.

Addressing discrimination

It can be difficult to address discrimination in the workplace because workers fear that the mistreatment will get worse or that others will retaliate against them. While these fears are valid, it is important to remember that laws protect you from discrimination and retaliation in the workplace. If you need to file a complaint, you may first want to do so through the internal procedures at your place of employment. That procedure may involve filing a complaint with human resources or another applicable department or party.

If your complaint goes unresolved and you continue to face discriminatory actions on the job, you may want to consider your legal options. Because discrimination violates the law, you may have reason to file a legal claim against your employer and other responsible parties.