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By Louise Herman

Though we would like to believe the world is becoming a better, more understanding place, several instances can make it challenging to believe that. If you are facing discrimination in the workplace, you do not have to stand for it. Keep reading to learn whether or not your employer must foster a healthy, discrimination-free environment and discover how a Providence, Rhode Island employment discrimination lawyer can help you ensure you are treated properly at your place of work.

What Does Discrimination Look Like in the Workplace?

When many think of discrimination in the workplace, they picture extreme examples of one employee being ostracized, abused, and assaulted. While these examples occur in some workplaces, discrimination is often less blatant.

For example, if an African American employee who is more qualified than her co-workers is consistently passed over for a promotion despite her great track record, with no reasonable explanation, this can be an example of discrimination. Similarly, if an older adult is not hired because the employer believes they are too close to retirement age, this can exemplify discrimination.

Unfortunately, several protected classes can face discriminatory actions in the workplace. These groups include:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Ethnicity
  • Disability
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Citizenship
  • Religion
  • Gender identity

How Can Employers Foster a Discrimination-Free Working Environment?

Employers are legally responsible for ensuring their workplace is free from discrimination under federal law. There are some steps employers should consider to foster a safe environment for their employees. One of the most essential measures is that all workplaces should have and uphold a strict anti-discrimination policy. This will clearly outline what is acceptable and how to respond to these incidents. Staff should be fully aware of these policies, and those responsible for handling the complaints should be properly trained to respond to these incidents.

Employers should also do everything possible to create a diverse and inclusive workplace. When employees feel welcomed, they are more likely to succeed. You can also celebrate different holidays of the cultures represented in your company and mix up teams to ensure everyone can work together.

What Should I Do if My Employer Does Not Address Discrimination?

If you are experiencing discrimination of any kind in the workplace, it is the responsibility of your employer to address and rectify the situation. While your employer should be able to recognize and reprimand discrimination immediately, it is even more frustrating if you bring it to their attention and nothing changes.

In this instance, you should try different channels, such as discussing the incident with your human resources representative or filing a complaint with the EEOC. However, you should retain the assistance of an attorney quickly to ensure that you follow the proper legal channels.

When you need legal guidance, the Herman Law Group is here to help. Our dedicated legal team has the experience necessary to help you navigate this challenging time. Contact us today to learn how we can help you combat discrimination in the workplace.

About the Author
At Herman Law Group, our focus is on safeguarding the rights and careers of employees and businesses alike. With over 35 years of successful legal practice, Louise A. Herman brings an invaluable dual perspective from representing both employees and employers. This unique insight allows us to effectively achieve successful outcomes for our clients in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and nationwide.