Most people spend a majority of their time either working towards their career at home or at the workplace. Shouldn’t the place you spend a majority of your time treat you fairly and with respect? It’s definitely not easy to stay productive when you are under pressure from stress and being treated disrespectfully.
An employee may be a productive, hard worker who is rarely ever out of work and has a team mentality and an excellent performance record. However, that employee could be the victim of an unfair workplace if their supervisor or boss likes to play favorites. It is essential to keep in mind that not being one of the “favorites” is different from being treated unfairly. Also, not having work friends is different from being treated unfairly at work.
What Exactly Does Unfair Treatment Mean?
Unfair treatment refers to a set of unspoken rules that employers should always adhere to. There are specific actions that employers cannot take. If employers cross the line, they risk breaking labor and employment laws. They may also break other employment laws.
Some of the most common examples of unfair treatment at work include:
- Discriminating against pregnant employees for taking paid leave
- Retaliating against employees who report their concerns to HR
- Refusing to accommodate disabled employees’ special needs
- Sexual harassment
- Firing older employees just because of their age and replacing them with younger employees
- Refusing training to certain employees based on race
These points are just some examples of what unfair treatment can mean, but there are plenty more circumstances that can be called unfair treatment. At the end of the day, it is essential to understand that you do not have to put up with unfair treatment at work.
Here are some options for what you can do if you experience unfair treatment at work:
Who To Talk To After Being Treated Unfairly At Work
Document Your Experience
The first step is to document the unfair treatment. Make copies of documents, texts, messages, office memos, or other comments or documentation related to the unfair treatment. Preserving this type of evidence will significantly help you when the matter goes to court. Try your best to document these things as they happen, as it will greatly increase your chances of success should you need to take legal action.
Report Your Findings and Evidence
If a co-worker is the source of the unfair treatment or harassment, report the matter to your boss. However, if your boss is the person being unfair in the workplace, you need to follow the company policy for reporting incidents. In many cases, the company has policies in place for employees to file reports of unfair treatment and other wrongdoing through human resources.
Understand that no matter what, you are protected and cannot be punished for reporting this experience to your HR department. If you are penalized in any way, your employer has broken employment laws.
FILE A COMPLAINT OR REPORT
It is against the law for an employer to retaliate because an employee reported harassment, unfair treatment, or other employer wrongdoing. Unfortunately, just because the employer can’t take specific actions under the law, it doesn’t actually prevent the employer from doing so. It does, however, provide victims of unfair practices with the right and opportunity to make things right through legal action.
Keep these tips in mind when putting together the report you plan to submit:
Stay On Topic
Most employees who are mistreated probably have a long list of complaints about the company and tend to go off-topic in their reports. Make sure you stay focused on the main issue you are reporting. This is not the time to vent about all of your problems and how you hate some of your boss’s annoying habits. These details will only distract from the main point and hinder your ability to receive a successful outcome.
While this is a complaint, it is not the place to use snide comments or to take shots at the co-worker or boss in question. Identify your issue, how it affected you, and what you would like to see changed. Offering constructive criticism helps to ensure you are seen as the level-headed and mistreated employee rather than the person that is negative and complains all the time.
Overall, understand that you can talk to HR, trusted family and friends, and a trusted attorney about the issues you have at work without any risk of punishment. Be sure to follow these tips in order to have the best chance at resolving your situation with a positive outcome for all involved.
HR Search and Rescue is a full-service HR consulting company. Their team takes pride in its ability to promote a safe and healthy work environment for employees, managers, HR directors, and executives alike. Connect with one of their HR consultants online or over the phone at (844) 934- 3743 to further discuss how to handle unfair treatment at work.