When you’re the victim of workplace discrimination, you probably already feel like you’re walking on eggshells. It’s a miserable experience for anybody to go through.
If you want to succeed in getting justice, however, you have to think ahead and get tactical. Here are some big mistakes you should avoid:
1. Not having a detailed record
Details are everything in a discrimination case. While you may think that every incident is seared into your mind, you would be surprised at how easily small particulars get lost. What time of day was it? Who was present in the room during an incident? Who laughed? Who looked disgusted? All of these things may be important later.
In addition, make sure that you don’t delete those awful, sexist emails or inappropriate texts and voicemails. Save everything for the future — in case you have to take things to court.
2. Not reporting the situation to human resources (HR)
For a lot of victims, this step is so scary they try to avoid it as long as possible — but the longer you wait the more you give the other party to cover up the discrimination. You may also find yourself awkwardly trying to explain why you waited so long to make the report if you were really suffering discrimination.
3. Holding back evidence because you feel guilty
Sure, it’s natural not to want to involve your co-workers and friends in the situation. However, if they witnessed the discrimination first-hand, they’re already involved. If you don’t provide names and dates to HR, they can’t verify what happened.
4. Not getting good advice before you act.
One of the smartest things to do is to get good legal advice before you take any kind of action. That way, you’ll know exactly what rights you have. Facing down workplace discrimination is hard enough. You certainly shouldn’t try to do it alone.