I am currently the victim of discrimination at work which took me a long time to admit. I can’t really tell you the particulars, like where I work or the kind of discrimination I’m experiencing. Suffice to say I work for a large phone retailer you’ve probably heard of, and the situation has something to do with my child.
I wasn’t sure, at first, if what was being asked of me was reasonable or not. I just thought it was a little bit unreasonable, but over time I began to realise the stress of dealing with this situation was having an impact on my family, and having an impact on me. It was stopping me making plans with friends, costing me money, and affecting my ability to do my job.
I sought advice.
The legal advice I received: Your situation is 100% discrimination. You can fight it, and even sue, but you have to realise that would be a career limiting step.
A career limiting step.
Basically I am in a position where, to fight for my legal rights as an employee, I am being forced to choose whether or not I want to advance my career. I had no idea these were the only options.
There’s something wrong in the world when someone can be discriminated against and, if they choose to fight it, have no choice but to shoot themselves in the foot. This worries me. Not just for me, now stuck in this place of being unable to choose what I should do from here. Backed into a corner such that I feel I have no alternative but to seek employment elsewhere, even though I know my work would be very sad to see me go. But also for those who have more overt triggers to become the victim of discrimination. For those who are disabled, who are chronically ill, who are gay.
Fighting discrimination should not be a career limiting step.
On the one hand I can stand up for my rights, I can call out those who are asking these things of me as discriminating against me. I can fight, take it to HR, and maybe pave the way for someone else to be strong enough to do the same.
If I take that route, I have to do so knowing it may ultimately cost me my job. Not because I would be fired, but forced to resign, and it may affect my employment possibilities in the future.
On the other hand I can carry on, say nothing, keep my job safe and my family afloat, and know I’m the victim of discrimination and there’s nothing I can do but leave.
What would you do?