Workers who submitted complaints risked retaliation, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rarely ruled in their favor.
People who are subjected to sex discrimination, race discrimination, and other forms of workplace discrimination are not receiving much help from the laws intended to protect them. This conclusion was drawn after studying the outcomes of the most recent data of 683,419 cases submitted with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, from 2012 to 2016 Employer retaliation was the most common form of sex discrimination retaliation, accounting for 46% of all occurrences. These trends could explain why only a small percentage of persons who believe they have been discriminated against at work actually register a complaint.
The burden of proof for proving discrimination to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or in court is largely on the employee. Poor rates of discrimination claim filing could also indicate that people consider the legal option to be risky and with a low possibility of success. It’s a big difference between enduring workplace discrimination and proving it in court or to the government. For years, legislators have debated legislation to strengthen worker rights, such as the Paycheck Fairness Act, which prohibits wage discrimination by compensating individuals doing the same job differently depending on their gender, ethnicity, or national origin.
While we feel that enacting this law would be a positive step toward encouraging more workers to report discrimination, our study indicates that expanded safeguards should be applied to all forms of discrimination. The anti-discrimination protection would provide the deserving employees with increased enforcement and allow for harsher consequences for employers who breach the law.
Author: Emely Rivas
Edited by: Nakira Whitehead