The results of a recent study regarding the effects of discrimination in the workplace may seem daunting but perhaps can be used to positively affect change, not only in California workplaces but around the nation. The study evaluated the responses of 500 participants who face various forms of employment discrimination. Results showed that over a quarter of the study’s respondents commonly encounter discrimination.

The participants were questioned regarding discrimination based on a number of variables, including national origin or race, gender, marital status, pregnancy, age, medical conditions and physical or mental disability, religion, or sexual orientation. Of the respondents who reported discrimination, nearly half of them said it happens frequently. A full 66 percent of them indicated that the discrimination had lasting effects, both on their company commitment and their motivation.

More problems arise with the realization that often, the incidences of discrimination are not explicit or obvious; rather, they are subtle, or occur after hours but have affects that bleed into the workplace. For example, a co-worker or boss might make a comment that is sexist or racist, but say it outside the workplace and attempt to pass it off as a joke. Employees who have experienced other examples of discrimination were allegedly told things such as that they were too aggressive or just did not fit in well with co-workers, but other employees displaying the same or similar characteristics experienced no negative repercussions.

Regardless of the form it takes, employment discrimination of any sort is illegal. Any California workers who are suffering from discrimination in the workplace may feel uncomfortable and daunted, unsure of how to address the issue. In fact, 60 percent of those facing discrimination reported that they felt uncertain of how to deal with the incident when it occurred and were not sure of how to prevent similar occurrences in the future. An attorney with experience in cases of employment discrimination may be able to offer counsel and guidance on how to proceed, such as keeping track of the incidents as they occur to form a clear, overall picture of any discriminatory patterns.

Source: benefitspro.com, “Discrimination in the workplace can be common, unmanageable“, Claire McInerny, March 23, 2017