Workers today have a broader range of definitions available for calling out discrimination in the workplace than ever before, yet the prevalence of discrimination is far from being eliminated. The Washington Post reported that over a million complaints have been filed since 2010, yet less than 20% of those cases resulted in any type of action, such as compensation or more adequate accommodations.
Racial discrimination is one of the top forms of discrimination reported. According to Pew Research Center, people of color are significantly more likely to report that they’ve experienced discrimination, with over half of Hispanic workers and over 70% of Black workers reporting it. Currently, this issue is taking a national spotlight: employees of the Center for Disease Control recently called out a “toxic culture” of racial discrimination in a letter signed by over 1,200 CDC employees.
With such a public-facing institution taking heat over discrimination, there’s hope of raising the bar on combatting discrimination more widely. There are numerous workplace and cultural barriers to overcome to make further progress, but by publicly exposing more of these cases, there is hope that a shift will occur.
How do I approach opening a discrimination case?
Documenting incidents, collecting witnesses, and establishing an experienced attorney to help you in your quest for justice are all ways to begin building your case.
Hiring an attorney to help with a case is a huge asset. By going the route of simply reporting the discrimination through internal hotline channels or through HR, it makes it much easier for a company to sweep the problem under the rug. Taking a discrimination case to court not only creates public exposure, but also helps reinforce and strengthen the case by having a legal professional as an advocate who can help find the best ways to approach the case in court.