Despite strict state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace and require fair and equal treatment of employees, racial discrimination at work continues to happen.
If you have suffered racial discrimination at work, you should file a complaint against your employer. You can even file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your damages if it is a persistent problem that is not properly addressed.
You should review your company protocol and research state and federal laws to determine how to proceed with your claim. You want to make sure you have everything in order, and you get your claim on track promptly.
You will also want to make sure you determine all your damages and ask to be compensated for your losses that resulted from the workplace racial discrimination.
Reporting Racial Discrimination At Work
If you have been the victim of racial discrimination at work, you should maintain supporting evidence and documentation. Your first step will be to file a complaint with your employer regarding the matter.
Your first step will be to meet with your employer’s human resources (HR) department and discuss the situation. Provide them with copies of your evidence and documentation but be sure to keep the original documents yourself.
If you have an employment law attorney, they will help you through the process. Be sure to make note of how your employer responds and keep all correspondence that you receive regarding the claim.
Reporting Workplace Racial Discrimination to the EEOC
If the matter is not resolved within your place of employment, you will want to take the next step and file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC is a federal agency that enforces federal laws protecting employees from discrimination.
You can file your complaint online, or you can call and schedule an appointment at your nearest office to file your complaint in person.
Either way, you will be interviewed by an EEOC representative and they will investigate your claim and review the evidence. They will contact your employer and work to resolve the issue.
If they find that racial discrimination like you incurred is a pattern in your workplace, or if they find that it was intentional and there is no remorse, the EEOC will recommend that you file a lawsuit against your employer to recover compensation for damage you suffered from racial discrimination at work.
Reporting Workplace Racial Discrimination To Your State
You can also report the racial discrimination you experienced at work to your state's government. Though the name of the state agency varies by state, almost every state will have some kind of agency that investigates work place civil rights and enforce state laws against workplace discrimination.
Many states have a work-share agreement with the EEOC. This means that if you file with your state's agency, it will likely automatically be filed with the EEOC as well. Your state will then investigate the claim. If it is found that federal law was violated, the EEOC will take over and begin an investigation.
What To Have When Reporting Workplace Racial Discrimination
If you have suffered racial discrimination at work, you will want to file a complaint against your employer. You will need to gather supporting evidence and documentation. This can include:
- employee handbook
- your employment contract
- copies of any memos, text messages, digital files, recordings, and videos
- statements from any witnesses
- journals detailing each incident of discrimination
- copies of messages when you reported the discrimination to your employer
The more evidence that you have to support your claim, the more likely you are to succeed and recover compensation for your damages. You may have suffered lost wages, lost benefits, medical expenses because of a lapse in insurance coverage, mental anguish, and legal fees.
After Reporting Racial Discrimination
After you file your claim, whether with the EEOC or your state, it will then be investigated. Your employer will likely be contacted and you may need to provide additional resources.
It may be found that you are owed damages, like back pay or missed wages. Your employer may have to pay fines or face other penalties. The EEOC or your state may also file a lawsuit against your employer or provide you a "right to sue letter". This letter would give you the green light to file your own lawsuit against your employer for the racial discrimination.