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5 Steps To Deal With Workplace Discrimination

5 Steps To Deal With Workplace Discrimination

Your job is probably not the funnest part of your day on any normal day, but if you’re experiencing workplace discrimination on top of it, you’re probably in a uniquely uncomfortable and miserable experience. After all, who wants to raise trouble with the people who give you a paycheck? How much do you have to weigh the risk of unfair retaliation versus the need to speak up?

The anxiety of disrupting the flow of your place of employment pitted against allowing your rights to be trampled can be overwhelming for many people. Luckily, many laws exist to protect against such bigotry. Here are five steps to take to deal with workplace discrimination.

Document everything

As soon as you believe you may be experiencing discrimination, begin documenting notable events.[1] This is crucial to identifying any trends you believe you are experiencing and to proving your case when you are asked to (and you will be asked to). You will likely need a combination of direct and circumstantial evidence in order to make your case, as you will be unlikely to get enough direct evidence of any discrimination from most people.

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Documentation includes saving or keeping a record of any rude or discriminatory texts, emails, memos, or conversations, and noting when and where they occurred, as well as between who. This should be kept somewhere safe, secure, and private rather than shown to multiple people.

Educate yourself on your legal rights

Once you have documented evidence of an observable trend of discrimination from a coworker or employer, begin educating yourself on your rights. Different states will have different rules regarding an employer’s right to fire employees, but all states are protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which ensures that employees cannot be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, nationality, sex, or religion. Subsequent acts also federally protect against ageism and disabilities without an attempt at reasonable accommodations.

However, businesses with less than 15 employees have exemptions.[2] You need to be aware of what your company’s size is as you search your legal rights, since smaller employers are often exempt from discrimination laws.

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Speak to a supervisor

Whether formally or informally, you need to make a supervisor in your company aware that you feel discrimination is taking place. This can be in a conversation with your boss, or it can be in a meeting with your company’s Human Resources representative. Your company will not take action until you directly ask them to.

In the conversation you must convey that you believe you are experiencing discrimination, not just uncomfortable or in a dispute with a co-worker. Make sure the company understands you believe your rights are being violated and ask for a follow-up, or for the company to take steps to address your claims.

File an official report

If a conversation with a supervisor does not prove fruitful, you will want to file an official report of discrimination with the company’s HR department. In this report you must include all evidence, circumstantial or direct, of discrimination to your company who should evaluate it according to their own procedures. Ask them to investigate your complaint and provide a written report following the evaluation.

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If the report decides to dismiss your claim or you are unable to file an official report outright, you should consider turning to federal options for protection, including contacting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and file your grievance with the government.

Seek legal counsel

If your employer will not help you in your discrimination case or is the source of discrimination, you can turn to legal counsel to receive legal compensation in court from your company, including back pay, front pay, lost benefits, emotional distress, or punitive damages. An attorney may specialize in a field, such as disability discrimination[3], which might be more pertinent to your case. An attorney can also explain your state’s employment and discrimination laws to you and help you decide what path to take to address your discrimination complaints, whether it includes a lawsuit or not.

Your workplace shouldn’t be a place of harassment, bigotry, or discrimination. If you think you’re experiencing that at your job, consider looking into your options for addressing workplace discrimination to bring an end to unfair treatment.

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Featured photo credit: Getty Images via thebalance.com

Reference

[1]http://smallbusiness.chron.com/discriminated-against-workplace-16173.html
[2]http://employment.findlaw.com/employment-discrimination/dealing-with-discrimination-tips-for-employees.html
[3]http://summitdisabilitylawgroup.com/salt-lake/

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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