Workplace discrimination remains a problem across the nation

| Mar 24, 2021 | Employment Law |

Despite greater focus on fair treatment for employees in Colorado and throughout the United States, there are still employment issues happening seemingly every day. People who are subjected to illegal behavior in any context with their job should know they have rights and should take steps to put a stop to the mistreatment. Although harassment has come to the forefront, workplace discrimination continues to happen. For those who think they are alone in facing these issues, it can be useful to understand the statistics for discriminatory practices in the workplace.

EEOC says retaliation topped the list for workplace discrimination issues

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is tasked with protecting workers from illegality. To serve its purpose, it keeps track of the number of complaints it receives and categorizes them accordingly. This provides a gauge as to what must be addressed when emphasizing fair treatment of employees. In 2020, nearly 56% of complaints involved retaliation. This should be understood as one of the biggest fears employees have when they complain about any employment-related issue is that they will be sanctioned for it.

The statistics are for the conclusion of the fiscal year, not the calendar year. It ended on Sept. 30, 2020. The number of allegations of retaliation has been steadily increasing. In 2015, it was 44.5%; in 2019, it was 53.8%; and in 2020, it rose to 55.8%. While people who complained were paid almost $440 million in restitution, this does not account for people whose fears precluded them from speaking up and they simply tolerated the behavior or left the job without trying to stand up for themselves. After retaliation, disability occurred in more than 36% of cases followed by racial discrimination (nearly one-third of claims); sex discrimination (31.7%); and age discrimination at 21%. On the lower end of the spectrum were national origin, color, religion, equal pay and genetic information – all less than 10% of the incidents.

Workers should not be afraid to speak out

A common refrain from workers when they refuse to complain about any workplace misbehavior is that they are fearful as to the response from their employer. This should not be factored in. The law is in place to shield workers. If workplace discrimination or any other legal violation happens, having assistance in asserting worker rights is crucial. A legal filing can be helpful to recover for all that was lost. Whether the initial violation has yet to be reported or the complaint was made and retaliation has already happened, having legal assistance can be a wise step.