If you're a woman facing discrimination and fearing wrongful termination, your legal success hinges on how proactive you are. Proactive people take control of situations and drive events instead of simply responding to them, while reactive people merely respond, often too late. That's why I encourage my clients to be proactive when dealing with their employer. Unfortunately, that rarely happens in the typical wrongful termination cases and calls I receive.
The typical employee is reactive, waiting until she is terminated, demoted, suspended, or receives a pay cut or any other form of adverse action. Only then does she contact an attorney, even before she starts documenting her workplace experiences. By the time many clients ask me to advocate for them, the statute of limitations has expired, their memories have blurred, and a substantial amount of evidence has been lost.
I know you're thinking that you have no reason to be proactive. After all, you love your job and everything is great. But Pew Research found that 44 percent of women between ages 33 and 44 have experienced some form of discrimination while on the job. This means that during a critical time when women should be receiving promotions, partnerships, and important assignments, they are instead experiencing discrimination. Maybe you'll be one of the lucky ones who don't experience discrimination, but then again, maybe you won't. I wouldn't be willing to take that chance.
Instead, empower yourself and be proactive. Proactivity as an employee can take many forms. One of the most effective forms is keeping a diary that details any unfair treatment, praise from management or clients, mistakes of other co-workers, or conversations with management.
Another way to be proactive is to follow up conversations with an email and then print the email and keep it in your diary. Remember: Print … print … print. Print and copy any documents that praise you for your performance, are disrespectful in any manner, or detail your conversations with supervisors. Lastly, forward messages to supervisors that speak to your performance, forward your conversations with management regarding unfair treatment and don't forget to print. I know we need to save the trees, but right now we need to save the evidence.
If you have any questions regarding this post or any employment matter, please don't hesitate to contact our office at [email protected] or 317-210-3416.
*The information you obtain in this article is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.