People who experience sex discrimination, race discrimination and other forms of discrimination at work aren’t getting much protection from the laws designed to shield them from it.
That’s our main finding after analyzing the outcomes of 683,419 discrimination cases filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 2012 to 2016 – the most recent data available. We focused on workplace complaints filed related to race, sex, disability, age and national origin. Those are the five most common categories.
We found that at least 63% of workers who filed a complaint eventually lost their job. That number was even higher for workers who filed a disability-related claim, at 67%. And about 40% of workers reporting experiencing employer retaliation, such as verbal abuse or being passed over for work opportunities like training or promotion, for filing a claim. At 46%, employer retaliation was most common for sex discrimination cases.
Moreover, the complaints themselves rarely led to a successful outcome for the workers who filed them. Our analysis found that legal redress in the form of negotiated or mandated changes in workplace practices occurred in only 7% of all cases. Workers received monetary awards in 12% of the cases – with a median payout of only US$8,500.
Attribution: The conversation