Discrimination in the workplace? Unfortunately, it happens, and it’s more common than you would think. The good news? You don’t have to put up with it, and you should not put up with it!
Before we dive in, here are some quick statistics on illegal discrimination in the workplace from around the world:
- In the USA, around 61 percent of people have faced workplace discrimination
- Over in the United Kingdom, around 55 percent of people have endured workplace discrimination
- In Germany, 37 percent of workers have witnessed workplace discrimination
- Over 43 percent of workers have received workplace discrimination in France
Furthermore, over 42 percent of workers in the United States have experienced racism in the workplace. It’s not much better in the U.K, where 31 percent of employees have experienced racism.
Racism isn’t the only factor contributing to illegal workplace discrimination. Gender discrimination, age discrimination, and sexual orientation discrimination are all common as well.
For example, 44 percent of female tech founders said they’ve had colleagues and managers have harassed them. 65 percent of LGBTQ founders say they’ve also received harassment.
That said, what should you do to overcome it? In this article, we will help you!
The impact of illegal workplace discrimination
Every company, regardless of their industry, should look to stamp discrimination out of the workplace as it can genuinely destroy the workplace. Here’s how:
1. Poor engagement and satisfaction levels
Unfortunately, workplace discrimination will drain employees of engagement and satisfaction levels. For example, many employees that report discrimination in the workplace are far less likely to perform at their best, feel like their workplace cares about them, and feel like their opinions count.
Moreover, those who face illegal workplace discrimination are more likely to be attrition risks. If you have a group of employees that don’t feel satisfied in the workplace, your company’s turnover rate is going to be high. Then, you can expect negative reviews on Glassdoor and a demotivated team.
2. High sickness absences
Research suggests there is a direct correlation between high sickness absences and illegal workplace discrimination. As a result, workplace discrimination results in prolonged sickness absence. It also causes a hostile work environment.
Although the highest levels of sickness in the UK is in the public sector, research suggests that employers face a bill of £100 billion yearly due to prolonged sickness absences. High sickness absences result in weak productivity, huge expenses, and dreadful team morale.
3. Mental health issues
The previous 18 months have been brutal for everyone worldwide. Nonetheless, illegal workplace discrimination creates mental health issues.
If you have employees with adverse mental health, they’re likely to suffer from the following:
- Decreased motivation
- Debilitating depression
- Lost productivity
All in all, it’s crippling for your business.
In 2020, over 42 percent of adults reported suffering from depression and anxiety. That’s a rise of 31 percent in the previous two years. Therefore, with the devastating impact of the pandemic, a company needs to ensure its staff feels safe at work.
You have the right to feel safe, and here are the best ways to stand up for yourself!
The escalating chain of ways to stand up for your rights
In the United States, various laws protect employees from illegal workplace discrimination. Every U.S employee has the right to the following:
- To not receive any discrimination based on color, religion, sex, pregnancy, gender identity, and national origin
- To report any discrimination, oppose discrimination, and participate in an investigation or lawsuit without anyone punishing them
- Every employee should receive equal pay based on equal work regardless of gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
These rights are federal employment discrimination laws, but other local or state laws may apply to businesses.
Here’s what you should do if you face any illegal discrimination in the workplace
1. Accept that there’s a problem
If you’re suffering from any illegal workplace discrimination, it can be challenging to accept that there’s a problem. However, if you’re suffering from racism, sexism, or ageism, you should immediately accept there’s an issue and act upon it.
The worst thing you can do is ignore it.
2. Make your company accountable
All companies need to approach workplace racism with commitment, passion, and the desire to make a positive change. But, if employees fail to make their company accountable, it’s unlikely they will change any issues.
Your company should be trying the following:
- Implementing a workplace discrimination policy that encourages zero discrimination
- Ensure that the company follows through with any workplace issues or complaints
- The company should communicate what they’ve learned about discrimination and the impact on its staff
- The company should investigate any complaints with fairness and respect
If a company isn’t doing the latter, you may consider speaking to the company directly or looking for work elsewhere. Unfortunately, workplace discrimination is a problem for many companies. Without thorough action, it’s unlikely the company will change the issues or change how they respond when discrimination complaints are raised.
3. Contact an employee rights attorney
If you’ve reported the discrimination and nothing positive has happened, you could contact an employee rights attorney. An experienced employee rights attorney could determine whether you have an actionable claim.
If you do, it could be a win for you and help to end the workplace discrimination that you experienced. Firstly, the minute you accept illegal workplace discrimination against yourself, you should take detailed notes on when and where the discrimination happened.
You must report any illegal workplace discrimination to your company’s human resource team. Moreover, if your company responds poorly to your discrimination report by doing the following:
- Cutting pay
- Reducing your schedule
- Sacking you
You could have a strong claim.
Sadly, in some workplaces, reporting illegal workplace discrimination can be challenging. However, if your company doesn’t support you and the situation doesn’t improve, you could always consider going down the legal route.
How to assess job opportunities to avoid being at risk
So, you’ve decided to tackle workplace discrimination, and your company isn’t solving the problem, or you’re new to the workplace and looking to avoid any issues?
Firstly, you should ensure that the company you’re applying to work for has a zero-discrimination policy.
A zero-discrimination policy should prevent any bullying, harassment, or discrimination. You should ensure that the company records incidents. You should also ensure the company takes action against any employees accused of illegal workplace discrimination.
Secondly, you should target industries that promote diversity. For example, the tech industry used to be one of the less-diverse industries in America. Today, it’s becoming one of the most diverse industries worldwide.
Statistics suggest that 14 percent of U.S tech employees are Asian, and 7 percent of tech employees are black, and 28.8 percent of the tech workforce is women. These stats show slow growth year over year. It’s not perfect, but it is improving.
According to research, the most diverse industries in the United States include online shopping, mail-order businesses, and home healthcare services. Although a diverse industry doesn’t mean you won’t face discrimination, it’s an excellent way to minimize the chances.
Everyone wants a safe workplace where they feel valued, respected, and have the chance to grow. Yet it’s not always as easy as that!
Online software sales is a booming industry with a modern working environment and growing diversity. Find out more about a career in software sales here.