If you feel that you’ve been a victim of discrimination in the workplace, it’s critical to learn more about your legal rights and the steps you can take to protect them.

Despite federal and state laws in place to protect against all forms of discrimination, it still remains a problem in workplaces throughout the country.

Here are five steps to take if you’ve been the victim of workplace discrimination:

  • Report the incident to your employer: Without delay, report the incident to your human resources department. Make it clear as to what occurred and that you’re not going to stand for it any longer. While your employer is responsible for complying with the law, it’s up to you to make them aware of what’s happening.
  • Keep evidence: Anything that you can use to back up your claim of discrimination is something you should keep nearby. A common example is a text message or email from a supervisor using discriminatory language.
  • Contact the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): This agency is responsible for overseeing compliance of many anti-harassment and anti-discrimination laws. You can also contact the appropriate state agency.
  • Review your employee handbook: This is where you’ll find more information on your company’s anti-discrimination policy, including the steps you must take.
  • Don’t go away: Your employer may attempt to dismiss your claims as you being paranoid. They may also attempt to sweep your concerns under the rug. If you go silently into the night, it will only affect you in the long run. You have the legal right to work in a discrimination-free environment, so don’t let your employer get away with pushing you around.

In some instances, reporting the incident to your employer is all that it takes to work things out. If they get serious about your concerns, they’ll take action to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

Conversely, there are situations in which your employer doesn’t want to help, which should lead you to learn more about your legal rights in Missouri. You may be able to take action to receive compensation from your employer, as well as reinstatement if your employment was terminated as a result of filing a discrimination complaint.