If you are the subject of harassment, discrimination or retaliation in the workplace, your first step of recourse is to file a complaint with your company’s HR department. This gives your company a chance to fix the problem from within by establishing a pattern of behavior and taking proper legal action from there.
What happens, though, if your employer ignores your complaint? Insider provides tips for how to proceed if your HR department ignores or mishandles your complaint.
Start looking for another job
Though this goes against what many legal professionals might tell you, and though laws exist to protect victims of wrongdoing in the workplace from having to seek new employment, Insider encourages you to consider moving on. It rationalizes its advice by asserting that an organization that allows bad behavior to continue and fester is not an organization to which you want to dedicate your talent or time. Ideally, you will seek employment with a company that values you and remains committed to a hostile-free work environment.
Seek help outside of your company
Even if you take Insider’s advice and make plans to move on, you should still seek recourse outside of your company. The next step you should take if your HR department dismisses your complaint is to contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC can help you understand both federal and state anti-discrimination laws and your rights under each. It can also help you pursue legal action if necessary.
Regardless, the EEOC’s presence should be enough to encourage your company to take corrective action and quickly. However, even with the EEOC on your side, you may want to build a more easily accessible support team that you can lean on for the duration of your case.