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What do I do if I’m experiencing harassment or other discrimination at work?

Document the problem – write everything down!

  • Write down the details of everything that happens as soon as you can, recording your memory of exactly what took place. Include times, dates, locations, and any witnesses.
  • Start a file where you can write notes and store other evidence. Keep the file in a safe place, away from work. Record this documentation either in hand-written form or digitally in a file that is not housed on a company computer. If you email yourself the documentation, use a personal, non-work, email address to both send it and receive it.
  • Get more details on our page Reporting Harassment or Discrimination at Work

Know your employer’s policies

  • All employers in Vermont are required to have a policy against sexual harassment. This policy must include the procedure for filing a complaint with the appropriate enforcement agencies and directions for contacting them.
  • If you have an employee handbook, check there for policies. If you have a Human Resources department, ask them. If you don’t have either of these, ask your supervisor.
  • Get more details on our page Reporting Harassment or Discrimination at Work

Report the harassment or discrimination

Filing a complaint with your employer:

Make your complaint in writing. Include all the details; try not to leave anything out. Keep a copy of your written complaint in your records. If the person you’re required to report to is actually the perpetrator, you have the right to make the report to his or her supervisor instead. If you’re not sure who to report to, you can make a complaint to any supervisor or the head of the company.

Filing a complaint with outside enforcement agencies:

If you work for the State of Vermont, you should file a complaint with the Vermont Human Rights Commission:
By phone: 800-416-2010 (toll-free in VT) or 802-828-2480
By email: human.rights@vermont.gov
Through an online form: ago.vermont.gov/employment-discrimination-form

If you work for any employer other than the State of Vermont, you should file a complaint with the Civil Rights Unit of the Vermont Attorney General’s Office:
By phone: (888) 745-9195 (toll-free in VT) or (802) 828-3657
By email: ago.civilrights@vermont.gov
Through an online form: ago.vermont.gov/employment-discrimination-form

If you work for an employer with 15 or more employees, you can choose to file a federal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:
By phone: (800) 669-4000
Through their online portal: eeoc.gov/employees/charge.cfm
Get more details, including what to expect from the reporting process, on our page Reporting Harassment or Discrimination at Work [link]

Get support

It may help to talk to someone such as a medical or mental health professional, an attorney, a spiritual advisor, a family member, or a friend.
Find resources on our page Support for Victims and Survivors of Workplace Discrimination