Reporting Workplace Discrimination

Are you the victim of discrimination in the workplace and have questions about how to go about reporting workplace discrimination? Watch this video by experienced Phoenix employment lawyer Quacy Smith to learn more. 

Read Our FREE Employment Law Guide

In most cases, when we have contact with clients who bring claims of employment discrimination, more often than not, there’s a thread in that claim that says they reported this claim to Human Resources, supervisor, or lead representative and nothing was done. This is very important to understand because oftentimes, if you don’t have a grasp of the law, you don’t understand that who’s in that chain of command can enact liability upon the employer. Can reporting workplace discrimination to a lead result in liability for the employer, or a front-line supervisor, or a manager, or does it have to be HR? Does it have to be some upper-level executive?

These are all questions that an experienced lawyer could answer for you concerning the EEOC laws that the EEOC is charged with enforcing. The broad answer to that is that notice is duty to act. Once the employer has notice of some claim of discrimination, there is a duty to act to protect, and prevent further discriminatory acts. That’s the broad standard. They have to act appropriately and immediately to prevent further discriminatory acts, whatever that is. There’s some movement in there.

Again, that’s why you need to sit with a lawyer to determine if it was immediate corrective action to prevent such discrimination. Your front-line supervisor would certainly meet that qualification. They’re an agent of the employer. Your manager would meet that definition. Human Resources obviously would. Sometimes even a coach on the front line. Do they have input in your evaluations? Can they tell you when to go to lunch and when to come back? If they have that level of authority, reporting workplace discrimination to a senior representative or a coach could enact that notice as a duty to act requirement.

Again, you would want to sit with an attorney that would look at that and determine if there’s enough involvement by that particular individual. One thing that you must make sure that you do is follow the company’s processes. Not following the company’s processes could literally blow the bottom out of your claim because you didn’t follow the process. If it could be proven that if you would have followed the process, you would have prevented all of the harm, it could take the merit away from your claim. If you’re in the process of that, I would always urge you to contact a lawyer before things go badly. If you’re already through that process and you’re not working there anymore, but you just want someone to look at the facts of that case and determine where the claims are, or you’re ready to file that charge of discrimination, you should contact a lawyer, so that we can make sure that your charge is drafted the way it needs to be drafted.

If you put them on notice about it, and things keep happening, then that increases the chance that they’ll be held liable for that particular conduct. They have to act. They must take immediate corrective and appropriate action to prevent further discrimination and to look into your claims regardless of the merit that they think they may have. They have an obligation to do so. That’s not only Human Resources; that is everyone in the management chain or that has control over the work. An experienced attorney will really dig down into it and make sure that your claim is handled properly.

Are you experiencing discrimination in the workplace and want to learn more about how to go about reporting workplace discrimination? Contact our dedicated Phoenix employment lawyers for a free confidential consultation and let our experience work for you.

Review Attorney Quacy Smith on Avvo