I receive many phone calls from victims of workplace discrimination. As I listen to their stories, I often notice that they have not taken the very important step of reporting the illegal conduct to the appropriate managers at their employer. It is hard to stress how important that step is, even though it can be very difficult for a person who finds himself or herself in this situation.
Generally, the law favors the resolution of workplace discrimination internally. In other words, the law can bar a claim of workplace discrimination if the victim does not first give her employer fair notice of the problem and an opportunity to resolve it.
I recommend that employees take a look at the discrimination or harassment reporting procedures in their employee handbooks or other workplace policies, and that they follow them to the letter. In fact, it is best to keep a written record, such as an email, demonstrating that claims of discriminatory behavior have been reported properly. Failing to do so risks losing any eventual legal claim that you may need to bring.