Six tips for employees facing discrimination at work

It was a difficult choice. Your conscience pricked and your wife nagged until you reported what you saw. It was more nerve wracking than anything you have ever done. You saw it. You really did. However, somehow, nothing came of the report, and your boss walked away scot-free.

Since then, your performance reviews have been very negative when before you blew the whistle you consistently received the highest praise. You did not get the promotion that you had been promised. Your coworkers have called you disloyal, and so has the management. You sense that it could come to being let go. What can you do?

Make sure you cover your bases

While it's true that in Louisiana, an employer can let their employees go for any reason, employees still have rights, particularly if they are facing retaliation after blowing the whistle.

Here are a few tips for whistleblowers that need to protect themselves from retaliation in whatever form it takes: discrimination, harassment, or even being fired.

  1. Make your complaint in writing by filing a complaint and be sure to keep your copy
  2. Establish your performance history. Find your records from before you reported and keep track of whatever is said afterwards
  3. It may help to keep a journal of your experience, particularly of any discrimination or harassment
  4. If the retaliation continues after the complaint, complain again in writing and keep your copy
  5. Don't gossip about your situation at work; seek support elsewhere
  6. Seek legal counsel on your particular situation

These tips are helpful for creating a paper trail for discrimination, but it's important that the documentation is as clear and precise as possible.

Even if what a whistle blower thought they saw was not in fact illegal behavior, it's important for employers to respect their rights. There are laws in place to help protect the rights of employees. If you or a loved one has questions about treatment at work that you suspect might be illegal, it may help to speak to a lawyer.