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Steps you should take when you're discriminated against at work

Workplace discrimination is a tricky issue since many people are afraid they'll lose their jobs if they speak up. They don't want to take that risk. However, you should know that the law is on your side if you're being discriminated against, offering you many protections. Below are four things you should do to help put an end to the situation.

First off, you want to act quickly. Don't put it off or wait to see if the problem ends on its own. Experts warn that discrimination can get worse when ignored, and it can also make people skeptical, asking why you didn't take action sooner.

You also want to keep a record of exactly what's going on. Audio or video records -- so easy to make thanks to the modern smartphone -- may be best. Even if you can't do that, though, you want to write down and date everything that happens as it happens. Having complete records strengthens your case.

When you decide to take action, try to keep your emotions in check. Acting angrily and impulsively -- even if you have a right to be angry -- usually doesn't help. Stay calm, consider all of your options and take rational next steps.

Additionally, be realistic with your expectations. If you make the report, don't expect the other employee to be fired by the end of the day. Both sides deserve a fair and just investigation, and it can take time. Just because things don't happen quickly doesn't mean nothing will be done.

If you have been facing workplace discrimination, you have to know your civil rights and your rights as an employee. These will help you know what legal action may be warranted.

Source: Main Street, "5 Things Not to Do When Facing Workplace Harassment or Discrimination," Kathryn Tuggle, accessed Nov. 16, 2016

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