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Discrimination in the workplace: what students can do

By Isabela Placencia

Staff writer

As college students, most of us have jobs to help pay off those pesky student loans and other responsibilities adulthood drops on us. Even if you don’t have a job, you are either looking for one or planning on getting one with your college degree. Whatever the case, you need to understand your rights so you can identify and take action if you experience workplace discrimination.

What are your rights in the Workplace?

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs said everyone has the right to work in an environment free of discrimination alongside other perks pertaining to autonomy. Some of these perks include inquiring about pay, discussing pay with other coworkers and equal opportunity for employment no matter who you are.

What is considered workplace discrimination?

The OFCCP said any mistreatment or termination based on a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability is workplace discrimination. Employers can mistreat their employees in many ways, such as favoritism, assigning employees to stereotypical positions and denying pay.

What can you do about workplace discrimination?

If talking to Human Resources does not work, employees should file a complaint to OFCCP through multiple channels like online form, in-person form via their office, email, fax and mail-ins. The OFCCP enforces the following job protection laws: Executive Order 11246 of the Rehabilitation Act and Veterans Readjustment Assistant Acts. Employees can also contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission since these agencies are closely related and will sometimes work with one another.

Can an employer fire you for filing a complaint?

No! It is illegal for an employer to take action against an employee for requesting an investigation. Ultimately, the OFCCP protects employees from any form of workplace aggression, which includes any attempt to prevent their employees from using their autonomy the OFCCP said.

For more information on workers rights visit the U.S Department of Labor’s website



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