Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Don't Seek Legal Advice at Work!

If you're dealing with race-based discrimination, harassment or retaliation at work, you should avoid trolling around for legal resources at work. Don't ask coworkers if they know a lawyer you can use to go after your employer, don't do Internet searches for employment lawyers at work, and don't ask for legal advice that pertains to filing a complaint against an employer.

All of these things will likely get back to your employer because staff may feel they must tell a supervisor, manager, etc. what you are planning to do. Staff may think they can get a reward for disclosing your plans (e.g., a bonus, salary increase, promotion, etc.) Or, staff may just feel like spreading gossip (so and so is getting ready to sue the company).

Don't give your power away by providing fodder for office gossip or by telegraphing to your employer that you plan to file a complaint with EEOC, a lawyer, etc. Your search for a lawyer and guidance on employment issues should be done on your personal time and outside of the office. Many employers use software that records keystrokes and they can also see every web site employees visit.

Maintain a healthy dose of paranoia. When it comes to even the possibility of vindicating your employment rights, keep your plans private!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you have been psyhologically injured from working in a bostile work environment after filing a discrimination complaint, you are at your most vulnerable point. Women as a rule talk about their issues and infirmaties, whereas men have learned to release through contact - athletic sports release etc.

I wish I had this information before I wore my heart on my sleeve. It took going through this to help me share this with family.

6:09 PM  
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