Workplace discrimination and harassment seem to have no boundaries, striking a number of industries, occupations and thousands of workers who simply want to perform their duties free of any such illegal behavior from employers.
Take for instance the recent legal settlement in Maryland regarding a transgender teacher who alleged years of discrimination, harassment, abuse and retaliation in being targeted by school faculty and administrators along with students and their parents.
Ignored complaints, failed to act
As part of the recently announced settlement, the Maryland school district must pay an undisclosed monetary amount to Jennifer Eller as well as implement policy and sensitivity training changes geared toward protecting transgender students and staff within schools in Prince George’s County.
The school district has more than 130,000 students and is based in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, a little more than 20 miles southeast of Washington, D.C.
From 2008 until 2017, Eller taught in the district. She alleged that the discrimination began in 2011 when she transitioned to a female. According to the lawsuit, she reported many incidents to her employer, which ignored her complaints, failed to act, or took insufficient action.
She filed a lawsuit in 2018.
Keep records, report incidents
If you are the target of discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation in the workplace, here are some steps to take:
- Maintain detailed records of every incident
- Retain all letters, emails, texts and social media posts that target you
- Find a workplace ally such as a trusted peer (supervisors and the human resources department may provide guidance, but in, some cases, may not be ideal advocates.)
- Report the incident to a supervisor or human resources
Be your own advocate. If your employer subscribes to such illegal behavior, then it must pay the consequences.
Take the necessary steps
If you face retaliation and discrimination of any kind from an employer, act. Granted, it will not be easy. Expect a great amount of pushback from your employer and even some coworkers. But take the necessary steps.