Monday, January 20, 2020

So You Have Been Discriminated Against

Your job is giving you a hard time with your transition, what do you do? Another employee is harassing you because you're trans, what do you do? Your employer is not giving you plum assignments or job training or promotions because you're trans, what do you do?*

AARP has some tips for age discrimination which can also be used by us for GI/GE discrimination.
How to Fight Back Against Age Discrimination
Take these steps to protect yourself against this illegal workplace activity
By Tamara Lytle, AARP,
December 30, 2019

Workers who believe their age has cost them — whether it's a job, a promotion, a raise — have options for fighting back. Eric Bachman and Kellee Boulais Kruse, legal specialists in employment discrimination, recommend these steps:

1. Talk with a supervisor.
“It doesn't have to be a formal complaint right off the bat,” says Bachman, a principal at Zuckerman Law in Washington, D.C. “Sometimes the issues can be addressed in an informal conversation."
A lot of times we want to bring in the heavy guns right away but sometimes that is the worst way to begin. Both side become entrenched in and the struggle can become very expensive for us fast… lawyers want to get paid.

Many times the company HR has no idea what is happening and takes corrective action imedidately.
2. Keep a log.
Document comments and actions you believe were driven by discrimination and keep any records, such as emails. A time line is helpful, especially to show retaliation after a complaint has been lodged.
This is the best tip.

I was a department supervisor and the first thing HR told me to do is to keep a log on infractions on an employee and the first thing I did was to tell the employee that I was instructed to keep a log on them. I told them that they should start keeping a log on the company. Now when someone asked what they should do if they feel that they are being discriminated is to keep a log, if it goes to court you can bet that the company will bring up every little infraction.
3. Lodge a complaint with the company.
If conversations with managers don't achieve anything, go through the organization's formal complaint process, whether it's via the human resources department or a higher-level manager. Make sure your concerns and observations are in writing.

4. Get a lawyer.
Notice that this is way down on the list.
5. Submit an inquiry to the EEOC.
I would add also to the state agency in charge of enforcing discrimination complaints and bear in mind that the clock starts counting the moment the incident happened. In Connecticut you have 180 days and for the EEOC only 45 days to file the complaint.
6. Consider mediation.
The EEOC offers mediators who can help resolve disputes. Mediation is voluntary but can lead to agreements between the worker and the employer that are settled more quickly and more cheaply for both sides.
Warning! Warning! Your employer might mandate binding arbitration… then you are screwed.

The AARP last tip support legislation and I second that… support the Equality Act. Call you congress member and tell them to support the Equality Act. Find out how you can support state and local legislation and if there is no discrimination find out why not and what you can do to sponsor legislation.

Employment discrimination and other forms of discrimination is hard to prove unless they are stupid enough to come right out and say they you are not being hired because you’re trans.

My advice is that if you are planning on transitioning on the job, wait until you have a job review or two under your belt before transitioning. Yeah, it sucks but it will make it a lot hard for them to say that  they fired you because of you job performance.

*These are all illegal under GI/GE non-discrimination laws. In Connecticut your employer cannot prevent you from transitioning, must maintain a work environment free from discrimination and harassment, and must provide you with training and promotions that they are giving other employees.

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