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Reporting workplace discrimination when you fear retaliation

On Behalf of | Sep 26, 2023 | Discrimination

Despite federal and state-level protections against workplace discrimination, it remains a widespread problem that can affect any employee. You never know when an employer may use their prejudices (age, race, gender, etc.) against you during your term of employment.

Unfortunately, the fear of employer retaliation keeps many discrimination victims from reporting the mistreatment or filing a claim. The tips below may help lower the risk of retaliation when you want to report discrimination without unduly risking your job.

Inform someone you trust

Tell your best friend or closest relative about what is happening to you at work and your efforts to find a solution. They can offer you support, but even better, they may serve as a direct witness to how discrimination impacted your day-to-day life.

Keep a journal or log

Of course, evidence such as emails, texts or even unfair performance reviews can help if you decide to report workplace discrimination. To deter employer retaliation in the aftermath, keep a journal of your experiences at work. Signs of retaliation to note include:

  • Undeserved demotion
  • Harassment and bullying
  • Unwarranted termination or layoff

Overall exclusion from workplace events or meetings could also indicate retaliation.

Get legal protection

Most times, when employees worry about retaliation, they have good cause. For example, maybe you saw how badly your boss treated others who spoke out about discrimination. When employers know their workers have legal representation, they may not be as inclined to retaliate against you for reporting the discrimination.

Someone familiar with federal and Indiana employment and discrimination laws can add more protection against employer retaliation. In turn, you can continue earning an income until you resolve the matter, possibly obtaining enough restitution to help you manage expenses until you find employment elsewhere (if that is a goal).