The experience of discrimination, whether in the workplace or in wider society, can be extremely upsetting and it may make life very difficult.
According to statistics from 2012–13, 29% of the UK population said they hold some level of racial prejudice – an increase of 4% on the previous year. It’s this type of attitude which can lead to discrimination.
If you feel you have been discriminated against, First4lawyers can help you to establish whether the actions against you were unlawful, and our specialist litigation solicitors can talk you through the process of taking action.
Contact us for a free, no-obligation discussion about your circumstances. There are laws in place to protect people against discrimination, and it is important to act if you feel you have been discriminated against.
What is discrimination litigation?
Under the Equality Act 2010, you can take action against various forms of discrimination, including if it occurs on the basis of your race, disability, gender, sexuality, maternity or pregnancy, religion or belief, marital status, or your age.
Discrimination litigation is the action you can take to resolve the issue through the court. Some discrimination cases can be addressed without the need for litigation, but it is important to discuss the particulars of your case with a legal professional before taking action, so that the appropriate steps to take can be established.
What counts as discrimination?
Discrimination can occur to anyone in almost any situation, but the Equality Act 2010 specifically protects you from discrimination because of your race, disability, gender, sexuality, maternity or pregnancy, religion or belief, marital status, or your age in the following circumstances:
- While in the workplace.
- While using public services.
- While in an educational establishment.
- As a consumer.
- When purchasing or renting property.
- As a member or guest of a private association.
You can also be discriminated against if you don't fit into the above categories but you are associated with someone who does. For example, if you are a carer of someone who is discriminated against because of their age, or if you support someone else’s claim of discrimination, then the law will also protect you from discrimination.
Discrimination can take a number of different forms. If you have been treated less favourably than other people on the basis of one of the characteristics mentioned previously, then you may have a case to bring against the perpetrator on the basis of direct discrimination. For example, if you are at university and you are not invited to an educational event on the basis of your religion, then you may have a case for direct discrimination.
Indirect discrimination is different in that it occurs when a rule or regulation has been put in place that puts you at a disadvantage.
Other forms include harassment, which is unwanted behaviour based on a protected characteristic that violates your dignity or creates an environment that is offensive to you because of that characteristic. An example of this might be someone in your workplace making a sexist or racist joke.
The law also protects you against discrimination because you have complained about any of the above. This is known as victimisation.
I’ve been discriminated against – what should I do?
The first step might be to make a complaint to the person or organisation that has discriminated against you. It can also be helpful to seek assistance from a mediator to ensure you feel safe and comfortable in any such discussions.
If addressing the issue directly doesn’t work, or if you don’t feel comfortable to do so, it may be more appropriate to work with a solicitor to make a claim in court, or an employment tribunal if the incident occurred in the workplace.
Contact us today to discuss how discrimination litigation from First4lawyers might be able to help you.
No matter your circumstances, First4lawyers can talk you through the various options available to you and help you to take appropriate action. Our litigation specialists have a wealth of experience in handling all manner of discrimination cases, and we will offer sensitive, discrete advice to help you towards a resolution.