Workplace discrimination plagues workplaces across the United States, including here in Houston. And those who are subjected to this unfair and illegal behavior can see tremendous negative consequences that affect them far into the future. This can include embarrassment and shame, for sure, but it can also result in adverse employment actions including demotion, reassignment to a less favorable position, or even termination.
Although you might be able to file a workplace discrimination claim to put this egregious behavior to a stop and recover what you need to be compensated for your losses, there is a specific process that has to be followed. Sadly, all too often victims of workplace discrimination make mistakes that put their claim and their future at risk.
Four top mistakes to avoid when pursuing your claim
There are a lot of mistakes that you can make as you try to navigate your workplace discrimination claim. Here are four of the most common that you’ll want to avoid if you want to protect your claim and your future:
- Waiting to report: If you want to file a complaint and set yourself up for taking legal action against your employer, then you need to submit your complaint within 180 days of the discriminatory action in question. This complaint needs to be submitted to the Texas Workforce Commission. The easiest way to file this complaint is online, but you can also mail in your complaint or file it in-person. If you file your complaint late, then you’ll be referred to state or federal agencies who may be able to investigate your claim, but you may be putting your claim in jeopardy. So, the sooner you act the better.
- Discarding evidence: In order to prove workplace discrimination, you’re going to need evidence. That evidence might come from verbal statements made to you, but it might also come in written form. You’ll therefore want to retain all emails, text messages, written discipline, and performance appraisals that may be indicative of discriminatory behavior. Don’t get rid of this evidence, as it could make or break your case.
- Taking matters into your hands: A lot of people who are subjected to workplace discrimination think that they can just deal with the issue on their own. To do so, they may turn to harassing behavior against the individual who is discriminating against them, or they may even become threatening or physically violent towards that individual. You don’t want to do this, as it could land you in legal trouble and create problems for your discrimination claim. Instead, you need to focus on reporting your claim and gathering the evidence that you need to support it.
- Not calling an attorney: Far too many individuals write discrimination off as something less than it is. But doing that just subjects you to otherwise avoidable hardships. That’s why you should consider reaching out to a legal professional as soon as you think that you’ve been subjected to discriminatory behavior. One of these professionals may be able to help you find accountability and recover the compensation that you need and deserve.
Are you ready to protect your rights?
Discrimination is all too common in the workplace. But even the most egregious behavior won’t be dealt with properly unless you take action. That may be a daunting thought to you, but that’s why you might find it helpful to work your case with an attorney by your side. If you’d like to learn more about what an attorney can do to protect your interests, then please consider researching your representation options and reaching out to a firm that you think will aggressively advocate on your behalf.