The Different Types Of Workplace Discrimination In Washington
The following article will cover:
The most common types of workplace discrimination, including sexual harassment, age discrimination, and religious discrimination.
Examples of how employees can determine if they have been subjected to discrimination.
The protections available to employees who report discrimination.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Workplace Discrimination That Occur?
Sexual harassment remains the most prevalent form of workplace discrimination, persisting despite efforts to address it. Cases of sexual harassment have been documented since the mid-eighties and continue to be a pressing issue. Both men and women experience sexual harassment in the workplace, with instances ranging from unwelcome advances to the sharing of explicit images.
Age discrimination has also become increasingly prominent in recent times, as older employees face bias and unequal treatment based on their age.
Religious discrimination is another form of workplace discrimination that has gained attention. Employees may face ridicule or exclusion due to their religious beliefs, and instances of discrimination based on religion have been reported.
What Are Examples Or Ways For An Employee To Determine If He Or She Has Been The Subject Of Discrimination In The Workplace?
In most cases, employees can clearly tell if they are being subjected to discrimination by observing differential treatment compared to other protected classes. Here are a few examples:
Discrimination Based On Nationality: Our firm once represented an individual from a country outside of the U.S. who possessed significant linguistic abilities and intellectual prowess.
This person aspired to reach upper management, but not only did their superiors fail to recognize their potential, their coworkers engaged in work sabotage, contaminated their food, and engaged in other inappropriate actions which impeded their professional growth.
Discrimination Based On Whistleblowing: In one case, an African-American school teacher (who was serving as a mandatory reporter), witnessed a seven-year-old boy being confined in a cage as a means of behavior control.
When she reported this incident to her union, she was instructed to remain silent. After seeking guidance from her principal, she was again advised not to disclose or report the incident, despite her obligation to do so.
As a result of her choosing to uphold her responsibilities in this environment, she faced severe discrimination and retaliation – and she was treated as an outcast within her professional environment.
Discrimination Based On Religion: Clients who have faced religious discrimination have reported being subject to mockery and even physical assault, such as having objects thrown at their private parts in the workplace. Such behaviors are appalling and clearly not aligned with appropriate workplace conduct.
Discrimination Based On Language & Racial Background: In multiple cases, employees have been groundlessly prohibited from associating or communicating with one another, creating a hostile work environment.
What’s more, employees who are non-native English speakers have faced discrimination when told to exclusively use English or face termination. Discrimination has also been observed during promotion processes, with exclusionary "white-only" meetings conducted to limit the advancement of individuals who speak secondary languages.
Will I Get Fired If I File Discrimination Claims Against My Washington State Employer? What Protections Do I Have If I Report Discrimination?
Termination that comes as a result of an employee reporting discriminatory practices falls under the category of retaliation. Any person who reports discrimination and experiences retaliation is entitled to the same compensation as those filing any other type of grievance. In these situations, where you would still be employed had it not been for the act of reporting, the law offers you protection.
What Steps Should I Take If I Believe I Have A Workplace Discrimination Claim?
If you believe that you have been subjected to workplace discrimination, adhere to the following steps:
Document the event promptly: Include specifics related to the individuals involved, the incident's nature, time, location, and dates. This information will be crucial when responding to queries during your initial interview with an attorney or representatives from state or federal agencies such as the Washington State Human Rights Commission or the EEOC.
Seek legal advice: Contact a lawyer to ensure your grievances fall within the scope of a discrimination claim. Make sure to provide all necessary documentation to support your case, including paperwork from the Employment Security Department, if you have filed for unemployment benefits.
Ensure timeliness: It’s crucial to understand the statute of limitations within which you need to file a lawsuit. Different states have varying case deadlines, so it's important to be aware of these details.
For instance, in Washington, a lawsuit must be filed within three years of the discriminatory act, and in cases involving assault and battery, the lawsuit must be filed within two years. If filing in a federal court, the deadline shrinks to two years.
Be mindful that there are also specific deadlines for filing complaints with agencies. The Washington State Human Rights Commission requires you to file a complaint within six months, while the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission only considers claims within ten months of the act.
Being cognizant of these time restrictions is essential as they may not be commonly known to the average individual and could significantly impact the outcome of your claim. For more information on Types Of Workplace Discrimination In WA, an initial consultation is your next best step.