Workplace Discrimination statistics
The EEOC has released their report on discrimination in the workplace in 2017. The numbers are staggering. Here are the breakdowns by the charge filed with the federal agency, including percentages for each.
- Retaliation: 41,097 (48.8 percent)
- Race: 28,528 (33.9 percent)
- Disability: 26,838 (31.9 percent)
- Sex: 25,605 (30.4 percent)
- Age: 18,376 (21.8 percent)
- National Origin: 8,299 (9.8 percent)
- Religion: 3,436 (4.1 percent)
- Color: 3,240 (3.8 percent)
- Equal Pay Act: 996 (1.2 percent)
- Genetic Information: 206 (.2 percent)
As you can see, retaliation made up the largest percentage of all charges filed, followed by race and disability. The percentages add up to more than 100% because there were some cases where charges covered multiple bases.
In 2017, 398 million dollars was awarded to victims who work in the private sector, as well as and local government agencies for discrimination charges. EEOC Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic released the statement, “Over the past year, the EEOC has remained steadfast in its commitment to its core values and mission: to vigorously enforce our nation’s civil rights laws. The results for the last fiscal year demonstrate exactly that.”
Discrimination vs. Harassment
Although the terms discrimination and harassment are often used interchangeably when it comes to describing problems in the workplace, they are not really one and the same.
Discrimination involves employers making choices that are based on race, color, age, disability, sexual orientation, or another protected category instead of making that rely on the employee’s experience, capability, or any other legitimate factor. Any instance where an employer terminates an employee based on one of these protected characteristics constitutes workplace discrimination.
Harassment occurs when there is a pattern of behavior in the workplace that is offensive, humiliating, intimidating or threatening and causes an individual to feel uncomfortable or unaccepted. Examples of harassment could include inappropriate jokes, insults, being threatened, offensive cartoons, or even unwanted touching. Harassment is not usually just one single incident. Harassment is usually a repeated behavior from one or more individuals that demonstrate a pattern of harassment.
Types of Workplace Discrimination?
There are many types of Workplace Discrimination, including:
- Racial discrimination
- Religious discrimination
- Disability discrimination
- Age discrimination
- Gender discrimination
- Pregnancy discrimination
- Sexual harassment
Example of Racial discrimination
Mark, a person of African American descent, applies to be an accountant at a large accounting firm in an affluent, predominantly white area. He meets and exceeds all of the job requirements. The job interview seems to go well, but the employer ends by saying, “You look good on paper, but I’m just not sure that you would fit in here.” Shortly thereafter, a white person with similar skills and experience is hired instead. This constitutes racial discrimination.
Example of Religious discrimination
Malak works as a cashier in a large chain department store. Because she has strong religious convictions, she must wear a hijab. After her employer receives a nasty comment from a shopper regarding Malak’s hijab, they decide that maybe Malak shouldn’t be a cashier making people feel uncomfortable. Malak’s employer reassigns her to a position in the back of the store taking inventory. This constitutes religious discrimination.
Example of Disability Discrimination
Matt has a disability that requires him to get around the office in a wheelchair. There is a narrow hallway to the bathroom which makes it very difficult to navigate his wheelchair to the bathroom. After smashing his fingers between his wheel and the wall the other day, he decides to draft a letter to his employer as a request for a reasonable accommodation for widening the hallway. The employer reviews the request and denies it, because they shouldn’t have to widen the hallway for just one person. This constitutes disability discrimination.
Example of Age Discrimination
A group of people goes in for a job interview for multiple positions. Everyone is in their twenties, but one individual is 50 years old. After the interview, everyone is hired with the exception of the 50 year old. This constitutes age discrimination.
Example of Gender Discrimination
Janine is a supervisor at a manufacturing facility. She finds out that her male coworker in the same position makes $20,000 more than her a year. They have both worked there for 5 years and have similar experience. This is an obvious form of gender discrimination.
Do I need to hire a workplace discrimination lawyer?
Both Federal and California state law prohibits discrimination in the workplace. There are many laws that prevent workplace discrimination, including the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as well as other California state Statutes. It is important to have an experienced person by your side to navigate what these laws mean and how they may apply to you.
While workplace discrimination is against the law, it is not always the easiest to prove or win. Documentation of your discrimination and an experienced workplace discrimination lawyer are some of your best defenses.
The attorneys at Rizio Liberty Lipinsky have recovered millions of dollars for victims of discrimination. We have extensive experience with the EEOC and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and other state agencies.
There is no point in wasting your time or ours, so we will thoroughly review your case to see if it meets the qualifications for workplace discrimination. We only take on the cases that appear to be a clear violation of your employment rights.
Our numerous awards speak to our experience and dedication for positive results. Our Riverside office location specializes in workplace discrimination cases. Let’s fight back against discrimination in the workplace. Contact an experienced workplace discrimination attorney today!