Discrimination In The Work Place

Posted on January 26, 2011

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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released statistics on claims filed with the agency in 2010. Of the 99,922 total claims, 36.3% were filed on the basis of all retaliation statutes, 31% on Title VII retaliation only, 35.9% on race, 29.1% on sex, 25.2% on disability, 23.3% on age, 11.3% on national origin, 3.8% on religion, 1% as a result of the Equal Pay Act, and .2% due to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, or GINA.

According to The Delaware Employment Law blog, these statistics show a significant change in discrimination claims. For the first time, retaliation claims surpassed race claims at the EEOC. Also, the blog predicts that the number of Gina claims will rise with “continued publicity and awareness of the law.”

The EEOC defines retaliation claims as any decisions that affect the “hiring, firing pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment” that results from an individual’s filing of a discrimination claim, complaining about discrimination or being part of a “discrimination proceeding.” These claims can be filed about any behavior that violates a fair employment law. However, if those claims relate to “race, color, religion, sex, and national original” as covered under the 1964 Title VII act, they are classified separately. Those with disabilities and pregnant women were also granted Title VII protection at a later date.

GINA, which is a fairly new law, was enacted in 2008 to ensure that employers do not discriminate against employees based on genetic information or try to acquire data about an employee’s family medical history.

Discrimination claims were bound to rise due to the record number of layoffs created by the recession of the past two years, but The Delaware Employment Law blog is careful to warn employers that while business may improve in the coming years, it is likely that there will be repercussions for some from decisions made during the lean years of 2008-2010.

DeWayne Pope
DeWayne Pope, LLC

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