How To Handle Discrimination

by Christa Lollis

The equal employment opportunity commission deals with hundreds of thousands of cases of discrimination each year. In 2006 they dealt with over 16,000 cases of age discrimination alone. Even with the threat of being reprimanded it still happens. A local attorney says it can come in many forms. "If a woman is not treated as fairly as the men in her company, that could be gender discrimination. There are all types of discrimination," Steve Roper, local attorney said.

For most companies employee handbooks commonly include sections referencing these issues. Prohibiting discrimination and leaving the responsibility solely on the employee to create an equal work environment are common guidelines. But, if a problem arises, experts say keep track. "The first thing they should do is document it. Each time it happens get a book, write it down.  When it happened, who did it, what happened, when, where and how. If it happens more than once or twice then you need to report it to your supervisor and tell them this is when it happened. This is what happened and report it again if it happens again," Roper explained.

While some employees may be reluctant to report instances, doing it immediately could make all the difference. "If you don't, you may lose all your rights because they'll say why didn't you tell somebody. So, give the employer the opportunity to correct the wrong. If they don't have that opportunity then the person can lose all their rights," he said. If problems persist and corrective measures aren't taken that's when a lawyer could come in handy. F you feel like you've been discriminated against you should report it to a supervisor immediately to stop further situations.