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When facing discrimination, keep a diary

You get discriminated against at work on a regular basis. The first time it happened, though you couldn't believe it, you never thought it would happen again. But it did. Repeatedly. Now you're ready to do something about it, and you're wondering how to make your case stronger.

One important thing you can do is to make a diary recording all incidents as they occur. Committing it all to memory is risky, as you may forget key facts when you need them most. You could also mix up your stories, especially if the incidents are similar. A diary helps you keep track of everything and guides you as you demonstrate how this illegal activity has impacted your career.

What should the diary contain? Ideally, you want to write out as much as you can about each incident, including things like:

  • What was said or done that made you feel discriminated against
  • Who may have witnessed it and can back up your story
  • Which parties were involved, either as those discriminating against you or being discriminated against along with you
  • The location that each event took place
  • The approximate time that it happened
  • The day on which it happened

The diary is especially useful for the little details. It may be easy to remember a hurtful, discriminatory comment made to you, and you may never forget who said it, but it's harder to remember exactly what day it was and what time it happened. The diary gives you something to look back on for further details.

When facing discrimination, remember that you have legal rights and you need to know what steps to take next.

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