If you believe that you are being discriminated against or treated unfairly at work, it can be a good idea to keep a record of events. This can be a simple journal, whether it is digital or written in hard copy. It can list out what events occurred, how you perceived them, who was involved and when they happened.
This is important because it could help to establish a pattern of behavior. In many situations, this is a beneficial step to show that discrimination is occurring. The other party has a harder time denying it or claiming they didn’t even know they were discriminating when it has happened over and over again.
Little events matter more than you might think
One of the benefits of documenting everything is that smaller events can carry more weight. For instance, one surgeon felt that she was being discriminated against by a male co-worker. He would greet all of the other male doctors in the surgical room, but not her. This made her feel alienated and like she wasn’t respected on a professional level.
In a vacuum, this may not seem like a major event. It’s just one time that she acknowledged a co-worker and they ignored her. But, if there’s a pattern of behavior showing that people in a protected class are always treated differently, that can be very important. This is especially true for employees who later feel that they were fired or otherwise discriminated against based on those same traits. That one, small interaction where someone felt ignored looms a bit larger when considering the scope of the whole situation.
If you do find yourself facing wrongful termination, discrimination and harassment, be sure you know what legal options you have.