The diversity of cultural and geographical background of employees in a workplace leads to discrimination problem. It is a serious issue that can impact the image of the concerned company and violate human rights.
However, the number of discrimination cases never diminished, even though the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other related organisations, both local and international, have tried to overcome this global issue.
It is stated in the Equalilty Act that discrimination in the workplace includes 9 specified areas, namely age, sex, race, disability, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender reassignment and religious background.
Dealing with discrimination is indeed not an easy task. Discrimination is a sensitive issue and demands the right handling.
When you are the victim
Discrimination can occured at any time and place. Everyone has actually experienced some certain of discrimination, consciously or not. As a victim of discrimination in the workplace, you should handle the problem personally and professionally. First, keep the record by means of finding the witnesses and save the evidence. Then, talk to someone you trust to get support. After that, make a formal and informal complaint to your employer or HR manager. Ask for a solution from them and perhaps they can invite a mediator if it is necessary. On the worst condition, you should take legal actions and bring the case to the court. If you think you cannot continue to work there, then you can quit your job after claiming constructive dismissal.
When you are the witness
Since the number of discrimination remains high, the possibility to see people being discriminated in the workplace is also high. Whenever it happens, a witness can play a vital role. Rather than rebuking the perpetrator, you should first approach the victim. Most of the people often forget that a victim is the one who really needs help to conquer the negative outcome the discrimination. If by any chance the case goes further, you’ll be playing a more vital yet critical role. Your objective testimony will help to supress the discrimination cases which can be happened to anyone including you in the future.
When you are in HR department
Discrimination can happen in all types of workplace. It can be in offices, factories or construction sites. It is your obligation to protect the employees from any types of discrimination that happened to the workers. As a prevention of discrimination in the workplace, HR manager should write and enforce a clear policies and conduct training regarding the policies. But, things sometimes run unexpectedly. If you received a complaint of discrimination, you should treat the victim respectfully and keep the case confidentially. The next thing to do is conducting a thorough investigation, collect the supporting documents and take action to all parties involved.