Taking a Stand: Reporting Workplace Discrimination

Workplace discrimination is an issue that affects individuals across all industries, impacting their professional and personal lives. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it illegal to discriminate against employees based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, or genetic information.

However, it unfortunately still occurs far too often, which is why it’s so important to remain vigilant in protecting those rights. Understanding the process of reporting such discrimination is crucial for affected employees to seek justice.

Your Local and Federal Allies: MDCR and EEOC

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) upholds the state’s commitment to fighting workplace discrimination under the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act. If you find yourself in a situation that feels discriminatory, the MDCR is a resource you can turn to for support. They understand the nuances of such cases and can guide you through the process of filing a complaint.

Similarly, at the federal level, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces laws that protect you from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, disabilty, or national origin. They offer a supportive framework for addressing these issues and provide assistance to navigate through the complexities of federal civil rights laws.

How to File a Complaint

Taking action against discrimination is time-sensitive. In Michigan, you have 180 days from the incident to file a complaint with the MDCR, while complaints filed with the MDCR after 180 days but up to 300 days will be forwarded to the EEOC. You may also file directly with the EEOC up to 300 days from the date of the incident in most situations. You may have even less time depending on what documents your employer gave you to sign and the type of claim, so do not delay in contacting either agency. You can also file directly in court under state law without going to either agency, but there may be reasons you do not want to do that. When filing your complaint, it’s important to include specific details about the incidents, your employer, and any evidence that can support your claim.

These agencies will investigate your complaints and, if they find evidence of discrimination, can take steps to remedy the situation. This could mean getting your job back, receiving compensation for lost wages, or other forms of relief, including for emotional distress. 

Additional Resources and Tips

Both the MDCR and EEOC offer resources to help you understand your rights. Here are some practical steps you can take:

  • Keep a detailed record of each incident, noting the dates, times, and potential witnesses.
  • Write down incidents as they happen to ensure accuracy.
  • Consulting a lawyer can provide clarity on your rights and options.
  • Familiarize yourself with the policies of both the MDCR and EEOC to understand your rights and responsibilities.

Empower Yourself

Facing workplace discrimination in Michigan can be a daunting and isolating experience, but you’re not without support. Agencies like the MDCR and EEOC are dedicated to protecting your rights in such situations. If you believe you’ve been subjected to workplace discrimination, it’s important to take action. At Carla D. Aikens, P.L.C., we deeply understand the complexities of employment law and are committed to offering you the support and guidance you need. Our team is ready to assist you throughout the reporting process, providing advice and advocacy to navigate these challenges. By scheduling a consultation with us, you can take the first step towards effectively addressing workplace discrimination. Let us empower you with our legal expertise and experience, helping you to confidently and clearly resolve your workplace discrimination concerns.

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