The workplace should never be, and yet often can be, frightening or unfair. Employees may feel that they are underappreciated or mistreated, but they may also be afraid to speak out about their feelings due to fear of retaliation. This is especially true for employees who are low on the corporate ladder, such as entry-level workers. What you might not know is just how many rights are afforded to employees, and how you can take advantage of them to be compensated for your mistreatment.
Unfortunately, even in places like San Francisco and the bay area, where employee rights are taken very seriously, there are cases of employees being mistreated. Recently, a black sanitation worker alleged racial discrimination at his place of work, accusing his employers of negligence after they made no effort to prevent racial harassment. According to the lawsuit, a white worker took a noose in his hands and pantomimed putting it around someone’s neck. After tightening the noose, the man placed it on the backpack of a black co-worker.
The employee who filed the lawsuit claims that his company suspended the white worker, but less than a week later the white worker was back. He stated that this caused him genuine distress, including stress and anxiety that caused him to seek help, and only then did his company allow him access to the company doctor.
Racial discrimination is only one type of discrimination that employees may face. There are plenty of other issues that could cause discrimination, ranging from age discrimination to religious discrimination to disability discrimination. Employees have the right to a safe work environment in which they do not feel threatened or mistreated. If you feel unsafe or discriminated against in your place of work, consider meeting with an attorney to discuss the aspects of your case.
Source: The Final Call, “Racial insensitivity and nooses in the Bay Area,” Charlene Muhammad, Dec. 5, 2014