Do you feel like you have seen more discrimination complaints in the news lately? Workers cannot legally be discriminated against on the basis of things like race, gender, age and sexual orientation. Even so, it continues to happen, and reports continue to be made.
If you feel like this is happening more often now, the truth may just be that a higher percentage of cases are finally getting reported. Discrimination is not new. In fact, officials have described the reports that they get as the “tip of the iceberg” in terms of on-the-job discrimination. If every single instance actually got reported and made it into news reports, it would be staggering to see.
Why is this? There are a lot of reasons. For one thing, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission struggles with funding and cannot address everything as well as they would like to. This allows these conditions to persist even when all involved understand that the law prohibits it.
Beyond that, many workers just choose not to speak up. Some worry about losing their jobs. Others aren’t sure where to begin. Some folks are even intimidated into silence by their employers. They may worry that their stories will not be taken seriously and they’ll risk their careers if they say anything. This is a very complex issue, even with modern labor laws that do, in theory, offer far more protection than workers used to have.
If you have experienced workplace discrimination on any grounds, it is critical that you know that you’re not the only one and that you do have many legal options at your disposal.