Workers in the Houston area who are subject to bullying and harassment on the job can often feel confused and powerless in their workplaces. They may be unsure about what to do about the situation as any potential action could have unwanted consequences. Many workers remain silent about mistreatment by their managers or colleagues, hoping that the harassment will come to an end and that the perpetrators will lose interest. Others may file a complaint of some kind through an HR or grievance system, but they could be concerned about the potential for retaliation after taking action.
While any form of bullying in the workplace is contrary to a good, positive work environment, many types of harassment can go beyond the unpleasant and the unethical to the illegal. In particular, discrimination and harassment that is based on a number of protected categories violates federal and state laws. These include discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, disability, national origin, genetic information or age over 40. When people are the victims of discrimination or harassment based on these essential characteristics, it can be important to take action.
Victims of discrimination can file complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at the federal level as well as relevant state agencies. Workers are protected from retaliation as a result of their complaints to the EEOC. In order to bolster the evidence for the complaint, it is good to have a paper trail of the issues. For example, an email telling the bully or harasser to stop their unwanted behavior could be an important piece of evidence.
People who are subject to discrimination on the job can suffer ongoing effects to their productivity, pay and advancement in the workplace. An employment lawyer may work with victims of workplace discrimination to take legal action to protect their rights and their jobs.