When discrimination happens at work, write it down

People often want to know exactly what they should do when they face workplace discrimination. They know that it feels unfair. They know that it is illegal. They just don't know what next steps to take to prove that it's happening to them.

The biggest thing you can do is to document everything. This starts with simply writing things down in a journal. If someone discriminates against you or harasses you, it is time to record:

  • What they did or said that felt like discrimination
  • Any details about that person, such as age, race and position within the company
  • The date on which the event took place
  • Where you were when it happened and approximately what time it was
  • If there were any witnesses who saw it happen

As you fill in your journal, you slowly create a record of events. You can use this to keep your story consistent and avoid forgetting details. You can also show if there is a pattern of behavior in the workplace that makes it toxic for you.

Any other evidence that you can gather will only help. Print off emails. Save text messages. Take pictures of discriminatory acts or messages. Save voicemails. Get as much as you can in hard copy so that you can start creating a file. Doing this makes it clear that yours is not just an arbitrary claim, but something you have been dealing with for a long time.

While you gather your evidence, take the time to look into your legal rights as an employee in California and all of the options you have.

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