By Lauren D’Cruz |
If you are facing discrimination or harassment at your workplace, there are certain steps to take before suing your employer.
1. Make a written internal complaint before suing your employer.
Ask the human resources department or review the employee manual to learn how to file an internal complaint for discrimination or harassment. Follow your employer’s internal complaint policy precisely and retain a copy of the complaint.
If there is no policy regarding internal complaints, set up a meeting with your supervisor, the supervisor of the individual who is harassing or discriminating against you, or any other supervisor in the organization. Describe the discrimination or harassment you have experienced and ask for the supervisor’s assistance in stopping the illegal conduct. After the meeting, send an email to the supervisor summarizing the issues you discussed with him or her in detail. By making an internal complaint and/or alerting management, you are giving your employer the opportunity to investigate and resolve the problem.
2. Document the discrimination or harassment.
Write down key events and conversations, including a detailed description of the incident, the date and time of the incident, and the names of individuals present. Collect evidence that supports your discrimination or harassment claim, such as emails, performance reviews, photographs, and text messages. It is important to only collect evidence that you have legitimate access to. You can compromise your legal claims and provide your employer with a legitimate basis for terminating you if you take or copy confidential documents.
3. Contact a sexual harassment lawyer.
Contact a sexual harassment lawyer or discrimination lawyer in Minnesota if your employer fails to address your concerns or takes any adverse action against you, such as a poor performance review, suspension, failure to grant leave, reduction in pay, demotion, termination, etc. A lawyer can assist you in filing an administrative charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and/or the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (“MDHR”). Filing an administrative charge does not mean that you are filing a lawsuit, rather you are notifying the EEOC and the MDHR about discrimination or harassment at your workplace.
You are required to file an administrative charge with the EEOC before you can bring a lawsuit under federal law. You are not required to file an administrative charge before filing a lawsuit based on state law. If your matter is not resolved by the EEOC or the MDHR, you may pursue your discrimination or harassment claim in court. There are deadlines for filing an administrative charge and a lawsuit. A sexual harassment attorney or discrimination attorney can assist you in filing a timely administrative charge, negotiate a settlement on your behalf with your employer, or represent you in a lawsuit against your employer. Considering suing your employer? Contact the skilled attorneys at Schaefer Halleen.
Lauren D’Cruz is an employment litigator specializing in workplace discrimination cases. Her tenacity and dedication make Lauren a perfect fit to represent employees who have been discriminated against in the workplace. Lauren is motivated by her ongoing commitment to advocating for her clients. Her passion landed her on the 2018 Minnesota Rising Stars list, an honor reserved for those lawyers who exhibit excellence in practice.