S. Anne Marie Archer
When To Report Discrimination to your Manager & Human Resources (HR)
Updated: Nov 28, 2022
In this blog post I explain when to report discrimination at work to your manager and human resources
One of the questions I am often asked by clients and potential clients is when to report discrimination at work to management and Human Resources.
Often when potential clients come to me, they have reported nothing. They may have documented many instances of problematic behavior but they have not reported it to anyone.
Sometimes they admit fear of retaliation as the primary barrier to reporting and other times they say they were not sure whether it was something they could or should report. I am hoping this blog post and this video on YouTube forever lay this question to rest.
The time to report any act or action at work that you deem discriminatory is as close as possible to when it occurs.
Document it (more on that in a future blog post), and report it right away! If you are unsure of how to appropriately report and to whom you should report, READ your employee handbook, most of them will have Equal Employment Opportunity provisions that include reporting of discrimination. Also look for policies on sexual harassment, discrimination, whistleblowing, and bullying. All of those policies will usually include reporting sections. Read them and follow them. If you cannot find any of those policies in your handbook (your employer is a problem) report your concerns to your manager IF s/he is not the wrongdoer. Do the following:
· Report your concerns verbally and then follow up in writing (email is good).
· Give them time to act and respond (2 weeks is reasonable).
· Follow up with them about your concerns, if there is no action on their part.
· If there is no action, or their action does not resolve your concerns, or there is any retaliation against you, go to Human Resources with your concern and report it to them.
Follow the same process with Human Resources (HR) and document everything that happens. If HR opens an investigation, it can take longer to get a resolution so keep track and stay in touch with them if they opt for a full investigation into your concerns.
By escalating these issues timely to not just your direct manager but HR you are creating a record and trail for future action if it is needed.
If your manager retaliates against you in any way, document and report those actions to HR as well. Retaliation could be in the form of demotion, taking key projects away from you, making problematic comments to you or about you in meetings with others, or behind your back. Dealing with retaliation at work can be very stressful but, in many ways, it can be a gift, as it often violates your companies’ written policies, it can support a future claim of discrimination and/or a request for separation with severance. Don’t let retaliatory actions scare you, just document and report each occurrence.
Grab my Documentation e-journal and start documenting your workplace today.
Do this for EVERY incident you experience. If matters are resolved appropriately that is a good outcome and your employer is doing the right thing. If they are not, that is where I come in.
If you cannot get your employer to appropriately resolve acts of discrimination in your workplace, enroll in my 4-part Hostile Work Environment Escape Strategy Webinar Series. It will walk you through each step needed to identify, document, report, request, and negotiate separation from an employer with severance based on discriminatory actions.
If you need help navigating a discriminatory hostile work environment, or you want to get out of one, perhaps with some severance pay, Book a Discovery Call.
For more tips about navigating and escaping difficult HR situations,
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HR is not your enemy but they are definitely not your friend, I am.
I am the AntiHR, HRLady and I’m here to help.