For many workers who never experienced or witnessed workplace discrimination first-hand, occurrences of employment discrimination may seem like a thing of the past. However, a recent study by the online job site CareerBuilder proves that discriminatory practices in the workplace are definitely still happening in the present. While the causes and impact of these incidents are varied, victims of any form of employment discrimination should continue to seek legal help to hold employers and other workers accountable for their poor actions.
Workers treated unfairly because of their classification within a protected class like gender, disability, race or sexual orientation report their complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Earlier this year, the EEOC released a report indicating an increase in workplace discrimination incidents filed with the agency. The 99,922 cases in 2010, which was a 7.2 percent rise in filings from the 93,277 in 2009, was the highest recorded number of new discrimination cases ever. A new study affirmed this trend.
CareerBuilder surveyed over 1,300 workers, who were African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, women, workers with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT), about how their employment experiences have shifted in recent years. The study found all of these classes still feel discrimination at work, with African Americans reporting the highest feelings of discrimination levels of 25 percent. Other ratings were disabled employees at 22 percent, Hispanics at 21 percent, women at 19 percent and LGBT workers at 18 percent.
Impact to Workers
The study reported that although U.S. employers are more diverse, and laws promoting equality more stringent, there are still inequalities in hiring, pay and career advancement. According to the survey, women and Hispanic workers were two times more likely than non-diverse employees to hold administrative positions. Over one-half of women, Hispanics and disabled workers indicated earnings less than $50,000, while only three in ten non-diverse workers were under this threshold. These are just some of the impacts of discrimination.
While the causes for increased and continued employment discrimination are varied and range from a poor economy that allows employers to more selectively hire to new technology that ends up excluding certain classes of people, there is still no excuse for discrimination in the workplace. However, as discriminatory practices in the workplace continue to turn away, underpay and devalue certain employees, agencies like the EEOC and other legal resources exist to help enforce laws that ensure employment equality.
If you have experienced or are currently experiencing discrimination in your workplace, contact a local employment law attorney to discuss your unique case and employment circumstances. An employment law lawyer may be able to help you keep or get your job back and will work to hold your current or former employer accountable for discrimination.