We all have the right to feel safe and respected in the workplace. As a server, you are in the workplace to perform certain duties. At the same time, you have a right to be treated in a respectful manner, both by the people you are serving, and by your coworkers and managers.

When you have a reason to believe that a coworker or a manager is discriminating against you in one way or another, it will probably make you feel uncomfortable and upset. Whether this behavior happens only once or repeatedly, it is important to understand your rights as a worker so you can take appropriate action to protect yourself.

What should I do when I believe that I have been discriminated against?

Discrimination can come in many forms. It may feel like harassment if one coworker repeatedly tells sexist or racist jokes, for example. While discrimination can be in the form of verbal statements, it can also occur through behavior. For example, you may believe that your manager gives everyone preferential treatment apart from you, or you may feel that you are being held back or denied opportunities. No matter the form of discrimination, you have the right to do something about it.

The ideal next step after an experience of discrimination as a server is to communicate your concerns to your manager. You should explain to him or her exactly the type of behavior that has occurred, and that you believe it is unacceptable.

It is important to communicate that you are taking this type of behavior very seriously and that you view it as discrimination or harassment. You have the right to request that a written report be made regarding your complaint, and your employer has the legal duty to take all of these requests seriously.

If you believe that your employer is ignoring your requests, you can then contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). They may contact your employer and look into your case from a legal perspective.

If you are suffering from discrimination or harassment as a Kansas City server, it is important to understand the rights you have in taking action and getting justice.