If I think I’ve been discriminated against at work what should I do first?

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If I think I’ve been discriminated against at work what should I do first?

I am African-American working with mostly Latinos. They call me the “N” word all the time and the boss doesn’t do anything even though I have complained. Also, my job is on an on-call basis and the boss who hands out the assignments always gives the jobs to the Hispanics and not the Caucasians and African Americans. Many Caucasians and African Americans quite because they can’t get the assignments. Also in our job safety meetings that do safety meetings in Spanish so I’m not able to understand. I believe I’m being discriminated against. what to do next? Go and tell HR, file an EEO complaint or call a lawyer?

Asked on June 22, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

Aryeh Leichter / Leichter Law Firm, APC

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Give me a call at (213) 381-6557 or email me at leichterlaw@gmail.com if you would like to discuss the matter further.

 

Ari

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can do all three, either together or one at a time. Federal law prohibits employment discrimination and harassment on the basis of race; California law also prohibits that and adds some additional protections; for example, it may be that national origin (including being an American in a company populated by people from other nations) is protected to. You could try to work the system internally, by speaking with upper management or HR (note: the law also prohibits retaliation against you for raising a discrimation complaint); or you could do to the state labor department or the EEOC to file a complaint; or you could speak directly with your own attorney. An attorney will cost the most, but gives you the most control over what happens; you may wish to initially speak with an employment law attorney (many will provide a free initial consultation) to evaluate the strength, value, and cost of your case, then decide what to do.


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