What constitutes employment discrimination and harassment? There is a fine line between what is legal and illegal in an employment discrimination claim and it is often more difficult to navigate and prove than a harassment claim. If you feel like you are a victim of employment discrimination because of certain protected characteristics you may have a claim. However, If you want to pursue an employment discrimination claim against an employer, it must be clear and provable that certain discrimination has occurred. For instance, if you are a woman and feel your employer is giving you less pay than a comparable employee- a man-and you perform twice as much work as they do, you have to make certain that there are not other external factors leading to the discrepancy as opposed to just a gender difference. An employer will often bring up many defenses to a claim of this nature, such as the employee has tenure, works on external projects that others do not know about, etc.
With regards a harassment claim, it is more often the case than not that you may not be the only aggrieved individual in the workplace. In most cases, a colleague will have participated in or attempted acts of harassment to more than just one other individual in the workplace. Coupled with the various other methods of obtaining conclusive evidence, This fact makes the investigative process in a harassment claim easier to navigate. If you feel you are a victim of harrassment, be sure to try and record and document an instance if you can. Given the state of technology, this can be very easy to do through email or recording on a cellphone. Also,once you have documented evidence, make every effort to try and resolve the conflict with a superior, assuming of course the perpetrator is not your superior. Trying to resolve an issue outside of involving lawyers can be beneficial to both yourself and the employer. Often an employee making such a claim will undergo heavy scrutiny from colleagues and the employer for “defaming the company”. If the issue cannot be resolved, then it is time to escalate the issue into the hiring of an Attorney and the filing of a claim.