While most of us would prefer to think otherwise, the unfortunate reality is that both retaliation against employees for filing complaints -- poor performance reviews, demotion, termination, etc. -- and workplace discrimination -- on the basis of race, sex, disability, age, etc. -- are alive and well in the modern workplace.
Indeed, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently released data tables outlining the prevalence of retaliation and discrimination claims in the private sector for the entire nation, and the individual states in fiscal year 2014. This information shows that not only have workplace discrimination claims held relatively steady, but that the number of retaliation claims has reached an all-time high.
According to the EEOC, the top five categories of charges filed with the agency from October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014 were:
- Retaliation: 42.8 percent (37,955 charges filed)
- Race discrimination: 35 percent (31,073 charges filed)
- Sex discrimination (including pregnancy and sexual harassment): 29.3 percent (26,027 charges filed)
- Disability discrimination: 28.6 percent (25,369 charges filed)
- Age discrimination: 23.2 percent (20,588 charges filed)
Unfortunately, the EEOC data tables also reveal that Florida was the second in the nation for charges filed with 7,528, trailing only Texas with 8,035.
Breaking these numbers down, the top five categories of charges filed with the EEOC in the Sunshine State were:
- Retaliation: 43.3 percent (3,261 charges filed)
- Race discrimination: 29.1 percent (2,189 charges filed)
- Sex discrimination (including pregnancy and sexual harassment): 28.7 percent (2,159 charges filed)
- Disability discrimination: 26.9 percent (2,025 charges filed)
- Age discrimination: 23.2 percent (1,750 charges filed)
As disconcerting as these numbers are, it's important for those employees who find themselves victimized by the types of employer conduct outlined above to understand that they are not without recourse. An experienced legal professional can outline their options, enforce their rights and fight for justice.
Source: Insurance Journal, "Top 10 employment discrimination claims," Feb. 4, 2015