Nowadays at workplaces around the world, diversity is the norm. It’s not only people of other cultures coming together but also diverse religions, sexual preferences, economic situations, and more. Even though labor rights have become more and more relevant, inequality in the workplace is still a serious problem in the American workforce.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it clear that employees should be protected against injustice. Discrimination on any basis is completely illegal and condemnable.
Several activists around the US have been developing strategies to protect human rights at work. For example, consider the work of Mary Beth Maxwell, Google Arts & Culture. As the executive director for American Rights at Work (AWARA) she has done a lot for people’s rights in the workplace. She and others who advocate for this cause have helped people to understand the importance of acknowledging their rights and being able to identify and fight against workplace discrimination.
Recognize: The First Step To Empowering Employees
So, how does someone know if they have been a victim of discrimination at their job? A good place to look for information is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This government committee strives to protect employees against:
- Unfair treatment
- Unjustified change of workplace
For example, if someone has been humiliated because of their traditional clothes, skin color, or even their sexual preference, either through words or through obligation to perform an act or practice that goes against their beliefs, that person has been a victim of discrimination. The same goes for a disabled person who has the right to not only access a job, but also to keep one and be treated with dignity and respect despite their condition. Discrimination can also be based on age and even on pregnancy and their consequent pregnancy conditions.
Every case is different, but the premise is still the same: nobody should feel uncomfortable and unsafe in their workplace, and everyone should have an equal opportunity to be considered for work based on their credentials and not any other factor. Employees who report a discriminative practice at work are also protected against reprisals from the company or coworkers.
Supporting workplace rights activists such Mary Beth Maxwell, Google Arts & Culture is essential in helping companies and public institutions provide better workplaces and protect people’s rights.
Act: How To Report Discrimination
The EEOC notes that they take complaints and reports by email, in person, or by phone. The statement can be presented up to 180 days after the occurrence of the event. The report must specify the name and age of the victim, as well as a detailed description of what happened and why the person considers that they have been a victim of discrimination.
There are two possible ways to solve a dispute:
- Mediation. This measure is informal, confidential, and faster. Its purpose is to help both parties come to an agreement.
- Investigation. If mediation does not solve the problem or it is not possible, an investigator will take the case.
Avoiding discrimination in the workplace and empowering workers will help to increase justice in societies. It will provide more and equal opportunities for minorities and vulnerable populations.