Everybody has the right to feel safe at work. Inclusion and equality should be at the top of every organization’s priority list. Unfortunately, this is only sometimes the case, and there are many examples of employees being treated differently in the workplace. If you find yourself in this position, it can be frustrating. It’s not easy to be happy when somebody makes you feel different at work. You can take steps to try and change the situation before making a significant decision like leaving your job.
“it feels like my boss is always singling me out and using me as an example but doesn’t treat the rest of my coworkers the same way.” pic.twitter.com/M9yqTyiLpA
— Job Skills (@JobSkillsOrg) November 29, 2022
Before you do anything, take a moment and collect yourself. You’ll want to tackle a situation like this with a clear head. It’s also crucial that you have all the facts straight before you start to make any moves. Think about some specific situations and identify where your employer has treated you differently than others. I’d suggest that you focus on clear and blatant violations. You must examine everything closely and ensure you have evidence to support what you’ve been experiencing. Assuming you are being treated differently than your co-workers, you’re also going to want to have clear examples that you can point to. “He said, she said” situations can get very messy and are very rarely resolved. Build your case, and back it up with examples.
Talk to your co-workers. More voices send a vital message in situations where an employee is being treated improperly. Approach colleagues you trust and ask if they feel the same way. Ask some pointed questions and compare how your employer handled the situation with your colleague versus what happened to you. Remember, you must take everything you hear with a grain of salt. People will only sometimes be open and honest, or they may embellish a situation. Word of mouth cannot be considered fact, but confirmation that you’re being mistreated helps build your case. If your colleagues are open to being allies and speaking on your behalf, embrace the support.
Document everything. Timing and detailed recaps are crucial if you’re ever put in a position to defend your claim. I suggest starting a notebook that is dedicated only to documenting this issue. Please keep it safe; don’t leave it where someone can find it and share it or throw it away. Write down every detail, including who was present, what happened, where the incident occurred, and when it happened (time and date). Don’t write assumptions or feelings. Only write the facts. This situation can be very emotionally charged, and it’s essential that while you are collecting your evidence you keep a cool head.
After you have gone through the process, you have several options. You can approach your manager and express your feelings. It is possible that your manager needs to be made aware of what’s happening. He may not see how his actions are affecting you. If your manager has a superior, you can approach that person and express what’s happening to them. Whether you address this directly with your company is up to you and your comfort level. Ideally, this matter should be rectified internally. However, it’s understandable that you could have some anxiety about retribution from your employer.
The best bet is to always consult with an employment lawyer. They can give you legal advice and advise you of all your rights as a worker. It can be complex to handle this type of situation alone. Leaning on empathetic colleagues and receiving the proper legal advice will go a long way. Always refer to the Employment Standard Act and know your rights.