Workplace Harassment And Discrimination: What to Do When Your Coworkers Won’t Support You

By: JML Law | March 21, 2023.
Workplace Harassment And Discrimination: What to Do When Your Coworkers Won’t Support You

California’s Labor Code strictly prohibits all forms of workplace harassment and discrimination. If you’ve been the victim of harassment or discrimination, you can take legal action against an employer.

One way to build a case is to gather statements from coworkers who can support your allegations. However, in some instances, a victim of mistreatment in the workplace may find their coworkers uncooperative, refusing to agree that any unreasonable harassment or discrimination has occurred.

There are various reasons this can happen. Sometimes, coworkers feel more loyalty to their employer than to a victim. Additionally, harassment and discrimination are sometimes relatively common in certain workplaces and industries. It’s possible a victim’s coworkers may be unhappy that said victim is drawing attention to bad behavior that they have typically accepted or even participated in this type of behavior themselves.

Don’t worry if your coworkers won’t back you up when you start building a case against your employer. With the help of a qualified Los Angeles employment law attorney, you can navigate these complications. You may do so by:

Documenting the Harassment or Discrimination

Statements from your coworkers aren’t the only forms of evidence you can present when filing a claim or lawsuit against an employer. If your coworkers are unwilling to help you develop a case, you can nevertheless document the mistreatment you’ve experienced in other ways. For example, you can document your experiences by saving numerous forms of correspondence, such as emails, text messages, chat logs, etc.

It’s also wise to keep your own log in which you record any instances of discrimination or harassment. Every time you’re mistreated in the workplace, make a note of when it happened, where it happened, what the incident involved, and who participated.

Filing a Complaint With HR

Many have heard that, despite claims to the contrary, far too often, HR exists to protect the company, not the employees.

This may be an unfortunate truth at your place of work. That said, even if you have good reason to believe HR will be unlikely to remedy the problem if you notify them that harassment or discrimination is occurring, it’s still a good idea to file an official complaint with the HR department anyway.

Doing so establishes that you took the problem seriously enough to at least attempt to address it internally. This will help you present a stronger case later on.

Taking Legal Action

It’s worth noting that, even if your coworkers are uncooperative when you initially approach them asking for help to build a case against an employer, if your lawyer gets involved, those same coworkers may be formally asked to make statements. In the context of an official legal case, your coworkers can’t actually lie to protect the employer. Hopefully, none would be foolish enough to do so.

This highlights one of the many reasons it’s smart to hire an attorney when taking legal action against an employer in California. At JML Law, our workplace harassment and discrimination lawyers in Los Angeles are prepared to help you build an effective case. Learn more about what we can do for you by contacting us online or calling us at 818-610-8800.

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