She had a face of a cherub Angel and I with my height, towered over her. My friend Angela was quiet and humble. She had known hard times and had the ability to overcome them. To look at her, you may not comprehend that she is an advocate that has helped thousands of economically challenged people find jobs, clothe them, and elevate their spirits. This is because she dresses in modest clothes and never tries to command attention. It would take a few months before we really got to know each other. Then the conversations began. “Have you counted how many black employees, besides yourself, work in this agency”, I said to Angela?
We could count on one hand. Angela had a background of experience in the Equal Employment Opportunity career field. She recognized the fact that there were about 500 white employees. We independently knew we had to act and report what was happening in our federal agency—nepotism and racial discrimination. I would find out later that Angela had filed a racial discrimination charge against our federal agency. That was due to the incompetence of our agency’s grievance staff who emailed me a form with Angela’s name and information on it. I was also filing charges against this agency. I informed Angela about knowing about her charges and gave her the documentation so that she would have it to use in her case.
It would take over five years before Angela received a fair remedy or outcome in the end. Why?
Because Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) cases are triaged based on the severity of the case. Federal agencies often retaliate against employees’ who file charges of discrimination. However, my friend is a good example of perseverance and of strength. She is a disabled Army veteran and someone who has known that it takes faith to persevere through hard times. During the five years, Angela never gave up and was often challenged by our federal agency’s attorneys. The truth will always rise and shine a light on what needs to be illuminated. As the years had gone by since Angela had filed her charges, she continued to help others who were being discriminated against in their workplaces. My friend was empowering others so they could help themselves. It doesn’t take an aggressive person to stand up to a powerful giant—it just takes courage and believing in a positive outcome.
If you are being mistreated in your workplace—reach out to an Employment Attorney for legal advice.
Bullying is still not illegal in the workplace, but discrimination is illegal according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. My friend and I both accomplished many things with our own cases, but it really helps to work with Employment Attorney who can discern the legal complications of work abuse. What I admire most about my friend Angela is her unwavering faith and her resilience. Because of her actions, there are more black employees in our former federal agency and increasing awareness around standing up for yourself and others.
For more articles on healthy work environments check out this!
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