As an employee working in California, you have certain workplace protections, including protection from harassment and discrimination based on age, race, sex, national origin, religion and disability.
However, it can feel scary taking the leap and protecting yourself from harassment or discrimination if it is coming from your boss — a person who has power over you. So how do you handle it?
Workplace Fairness discusses what to do when facing harassment or discrimination at work.
Keep a record. Gather documentation. Use your device to create an electronic record that your boss or other employers cannot access or wipe. Write down information about each instance of harassment that you experience. Note the location, time and date, along with anything your boss says or does. If possible, keep screenshots or photographic evidence. Keep all communication over email, texts or social media, too.
Take your documentation to human resources. They serve as the first line of defense against harassment and discrimination. You should alert them in writing to the fact that you will make a formal harassment complaint against your boss. Be aware of the fact that the HR department works for the same boss, though, so you need to have as much support and evidence on your side as possible. You should follow all the same steps if a coworker is harassing you. The only twist is that you might want to report the coworker to the boss before HR, but you don’t have to.
Having an attorney to speak on your behalf or sit through the meeting with HR may help you, providing backup and emotional support. In addition, you can file a harassment lawsuit if HR refuses to pursue the matter.