For many of us, our time at work takes up more time than any other place. We should therefore expect that our time at work will be fun and productive. Everyone wants to feel at home, respected, and welcome at work, and you have a legal right to a secure working environment. But during the Great Resignation, the most common reasons for employees to quit their jobs were toxic workplace environments and unfair treatment. When we experience unfair treatment at work, it can be hard to love our jobs and be productive. Unfortunately, not all employees receive equitable treatment. An employee might, for instance, be a diligent, productive worker who rarely misses a day of work, has a strong sense of teamwork, and has a history of producing good work. However, if their manager or boss enjoys picking favorites, that person may face an unjust work environment. It not only means that we have a fundamental right to get respect and dignity, but that we also operate under the assumption that all employees will have access to opportunities for high pay, and promotions based on their performance on the job and completion of job duties. It is a sad and tragic reality, too, that not everyone in workplaces is treated equally or fairly.
What Is Unfair Treatment?
Discrimination occurs when a member of your workforce is treated unfairly due to their identity. They may become upset, ashamed, or even afraid as a result. You can anticipate a sharp decline in their production and morale when this occurs. According to scholarly research, unfair treatment of employees can affect their motivation and energy. Even higher absence rates may be observed. Some workers may believe that it is preferable to pretend to be ill to avoid going to work than to deal with a scenario that makes them feel mistreated.
Playing Favorites VS. Unfair Treatment
Every workplace has some level of favoritism. There are certain employees that managers favor and may treat differently. A better job or business car could go to a friend or family member. The top choice for business lunches or company travel may be the boss’s favorite. However, discrimination and harassment are also criminal forms of unjust treatment. No one may treat employees unfairly because of protected qualities. Protected traits are those that fall under state and federal anti-discrimination laws.
What Constitutes Unfair Treatment?
Using so-called “protected characteristics” such as race, color, age, gender identity, pregnancy, disability, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, or sex as justification for harassment or discrimination at work is prohibited. It is against the law to act in a way that harasses or discriminates against others, as this could foster a hostile work environment and make it challenging for an employee to carry out their tasks. Employers are prohibited from doing a certain number of measures. Employers run from breaching labor and employment regulations if they cross the line. They might also violate other labor regulations. Employee harassment and unpleasant work situations are prohibited by employers.
Examples Of Unfair Treatment
Harassment and discrimination are included under the general term “unfair treatment.” Even though no one should ever subject another person to harassment or discrimination for any reason, it becomes forbidden when “protected traits” are present. However, unfair treatment can occur at any step of employment, including hiring, job assignments, promotions, wage, training, benefits, layoffs, and termination, and it is not always known as discrimination. Here are just a few instances of unfair workplace behavior:
- Spreading false information about a worker
- Rejecting a candidate for a job or a promotion because of their race, color, gender, or another protected feature
- Making derogatory remarks, emails, or posts about a worker.
- Demotion, transfer, or termination without a just disciplinary procedure.
- Paying women less for performing the same work than men
- Letting older employees go or terminating their employment to make room for younger, less expensive employees.
Understand The Laws
The creation of a secure and inclusive workplace is governed by several laws. To further understand employer obligations and employee rights, spend some time researching these laws or consult with a human resources attorney. The following are some significant statutes that address unfair treatment in the workplace:
- The 2010 Equality Act affirms that employees have a right to work in a setting free from harassment and rumors, where advancement prospects are determined by merit and performance, and where work is evaluated fairly.
- The people with Disabilities Act prohibits businesses from treating qualified workers with disabilities less favorably. It also mentions that staff members have a right to accessible workspaces.
- ADA(Age Discrimination in Employment) safeguards against discrimination for current employees and job hopefuls over 40.
How To Deal With Unfair Treatment In The Workplace
It’s time to act now that you’ve realized you’re being treated unfairly. You can try to make things better by having a private conversation with the person abusing you, but if that doesn’t work, you should use your legal options at work to defend yourself. While most people are aware that their work could occasionally be imperfect, it is quite another to receive unfair treatment. Unfair treatment at the workplace will inevitably have an impact on how much you love your job, whether it is bullying, discrimination, or being treated differently from your coworkers. Despite this, there are still plenty of instances where employees deal with discrimination or unjust treatment from coworkers or higher-ups in the workplace. It might be challenging for workers to know their alternatives and what to do when they encounter this kind of behavior. Several steps can assist, and we’re here to discuss them. Of course, the optimal course of action will depend on your unique circumstances.
1. Document The Unfair Treatment
Even if you are unsure if the conduct qualifies as discrimination or harassment, you must document any behavior you believe to be illegal or unjust. Any email correspondence, internal memos, office conversations, and voicemails are often considered documentation. You must keep this kind of proof of improper treatment. If you decide to leave the company or are fired, you might use information as leverage to negotiate your severance package and its terms. It might be beneficial to put anything you can recall regarding examples of abuse in writing. When you remind facts and details, it’s crucial to write them down as quickly as you can.
2. Report The Unfair Treatment
If you plan to stay employed, your attorney might suggest that you notify the human resources division of your employer about the unjust treatment. It not only aids in formalizing your grievance but also designates you as a “whistleblower.” It implies that you have rights comparable to those of discrimination victims. Because it appears to be retribution, your employer cannot terminate you or let you go after you make a complaint. In other words, making a formal complaint can safeguard you from future unfair treatment or even wrongful termination in addition to recording the instances of unfair treatment. In other words, making a formal complaint can protect you from future unfair treatment by recording examples of unfair treatment. Additionally, although it’s not a given, it can spur your employer to act to stop the unfair treatment.
3. Avoid Using Social Media
Posting information about your unfair treatment on social media is one thing you should never, ever do. It makes complete sense that receiving unfair treatment makes one angry. But it would be best if you kept your composure. You can be in a bad situation if you blow up on social media. Your employment lawyer might even suggest that you stop using social media until your case is over because the opposing side’s lawyers might search by using your social media accounts for evidence to support their position or to gain an advantage. Please consider that anybody can view everything you publish on social media. Lawyers frequently exploit the information they uncover on social media in favor of their clients.
4. Take Care Of Yourself
Experiencing abuse or harassment at work can be extremely traumatic. It’s crucial to take care of yourself during this time. Speak with your loved ones, your spiritual guide, and your friends. It is essential for you to immediately notify law police if you suspect that the treatment you received at work may have been unlawful, such as a sexual or physical assault, so the perpetrators can be held accountable. It is a good idea to talk about your feelings with a support group if one is available where you live. Support groups are beneficial since they serve as a reminder that we are not the only ones struggling with these problems.
5. Don’t Talk About It With Anyone
It is preferable to avoid bringing up unjust treatment with friends or coworkers. You run the risk of having your words misunderstood if you discuss them with anyone. Instead, find out your legal alternatives and whether you can sue your company for failing to resolve workplace harassment, discrimination, and unfair treatment by speaking with an employment lawyer.
6. Contact An Experienced Lawyer
Contact a skilled and competent employment attorney to help you identify your goals and develop ways to achieve them if you have evidence of the treatment you believe to be unfair, harassing, or discriminating. Is it your objective to work for long? Do you desire to quit your existing position while receiving the best severance package and agreement possible? Do you wish to bring a class action lawsuit against your employer and other individuals who have treated you unfairly to change the culture at work? Depending on what you want to achieve, you’ll choose a particular strategy. It’s crucial to choose a reputable contingency employment lawyer for your case.
Establish Policies Against Unequal Treatment
Create an employee handbook or include language on unfair practices and discrimination. Make it a business policy that such actions are prohibited in the organization. Strong policies are required than merely reprimanding the behavior. Give typical instances of what typically occurs in workplace settings. It can be sufficient to make someone who was unintentionally engaging in an undesirable activity open their eyes. Policies should contain preparations for disciplinary action against those who refuse to change their behavior to reflect equality. The proposals should begin with an “open-door policy” that allows staff members to report inappropriate behavior without facing repercussions. It is best to speak privately with the person who is allegedly engaging in the harmful behavior. Suspension or termination should be possible outcomes if the actions persist or are particularly egregious.
Train And Mentor Staff Members
Hold a meeting after the policies, procedures, and action plans are in place. Conduct a new program training. Discuss hypothetical scenarios, acceptable and undesirable behavior, and role-playing with the staff. If leading a meeting like this makes you uneasy, seek professional help or spend money on an online training course that goes above and beyond the topic. Show employees where in the manual the new rules and regulations are listed. You can have a private conversation with anyone about their issues.
Consequences Of Not Providing Comfort For Employees
It is your responsibility as an employer to guarantee that all employees feel secure and at ease while at work. There will be severe repercussions if you don’t. People won’t perform well at work and won’t be pleased with work, at the very least. In more severe circumstances, you risk losing your management position. A public lawsuit against the business can deter customers from making purchases and deplete its financial resources. With knowledge, comprehension, training, and implementation of proactive behavior, it can all be avoided.
Being treated unfairly at work can make you feel uneasy, apprehensive, or sad. Ensure that you are caring for your mental and emotional well-being. You could experience fatigue, exhaustion, depletion, or burnout when you’re recovering from a hazardous environment. Grieve the bad experience, take what you can from it, and decide on your beliefs, morals, and future objectives to create a healthy and good workplace culture.