How to Deal With Disrespect at Work


Although workplace discrimination is prohibited by federal and state laws, disrespect on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion or origin may be more subtle. Some laws protect individuals with disabilities people who are a certain age or older. Stand up for yourself when you experience disrespect or discrimination at work. You can deal with it properly to protect your rights as a person and as an employee.

Create a list of behaviors and actions exhibited by the disrespectful group or individual and how they affect your work environment. Include dates, times and witnesses.

Consult your employee handbook that outlines the necessary procedures for dealing with acts of disrespect or discrimination. Follow those steps to resolve the issue in accordance to your company procedures.

Speak directly to the party responsible for disrespecting you before taking your concerns to the authorities. Sometimes the other individual or group is not aware that actions are causing you to feel disrespected.

Report the situation to authorities if the offending party is unresponsive to your concerns. Discrimination can be hard to prove, which is why you should have documented all acts of disrespect as well as all attempts at resolving the situation with the offending individual or group. Communicate your concerns in a professional manner. Describe all situations where you found acts of disrespect to be present and describe the way it affected your performance at work.

Take legal action as a last resort. If management or authorities cannot resolve the situation or if the disrespectful act was so severe that you believe you deserve to compensated for pain and suffering as a result, you can make an appointment with an attorney to file a lawsuit. Visit a lawyer that deals exclusively with discriminatory cases only after the company has done all that it can to resolve the issue without taking necessary legal action.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are a union worker, you may want to file a grievance with your union to resolve the issue.

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