Workplace comments are a fact of life, but sometimes those comments can be harmful. Some people may take offense at something that is essentially a private matter: the sexuality of their target. Like other forms of discrimination, discrimination based on a person’s sexuality is against the law in many locations, and as such can be a human resources problem, especially if there are numerous comments over time. This means that a person needs to follow through on all the usual protections, ranging from documenting the problem to reporting the problem, in order to ensure that the problem is resolved and the problem solved, hopefully permanently.
The Basics of the Problem
The essentials of discrimination based on a person’s sexuality is that a person is targeted due to their sexuality, perceived or otherwise. The person being targeted needs to deal with all sorts of remarks based on their sexuality, as well as potential issues such as reduced hours or responsibilities, negative work reviews, and even attacks through rumor and innuendo. The person being targeted may not always know who is attacking them, but it is usually not hard to figure out who the person behind the attacks is.
Discrimination can create all sorts of problems. The obvious issues are those affecting the paycheck; as hours and responsibilities are cut the paycheck can suffer as well. Health can also be affected not only through the stress created by the discrimination itself, but also if health benefits are affected. Worse, if the person discriminator decides to ratchet up the attacks, then it is possible that the person’s car and personal belongings may be under attack as well, with physical attacks on the person being an unfortunate possibility. Combined with an attack on the person’s reputation, and the person may be dealing with a serious problem.
How to Deal With The Discrimination
Should you find yourself under such an attack, there are a number of ways to deal with it. The first is to document the problem, if possible. With modern technology, documentation is pretty simple; with a smartphone, you can always be ready to record and thus start recording any comments as they come up. This also means that any physical damage can be easily photographed, be it on property or personal damage. The idea is to build a case as quickly as possible and the easiest way to do so is to document everything. If you can get a couple of witnesses, so much the better.
At some point, you need to discuss the problem with human resources or a lawyer. Generally, the employer should put the problem and enact any company policy regarding sexuality-based discrimination. If the employer does not solve the problem to your satisfaction, then it may be necessary to discuss the problem with a lawyer specializing in discrimination cases. It should be noted that the process of dealing with discrimination may not be easy, and it may cause its own stress, but unless you take the step to deal with it, it can only continue.
It Is Not Easy, But It Needs to Be Done
Dealing with any form of discrimination is rarely easy. However, until you take the step of bringing it to the attention of someone it is likely to continue. It is up to you to do something about the problem; sometimes no one else is aware, or they merely suspect it. They need to be told explicitly what the situation is, and if you can get the evidence put together so much the better. Just remember that sometimes you need to help yourself to get help and you should be fine.
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