The number of job discrimination claims filed during fiscal year 2013 was down from historic highs reached over the past three years. Experts say that tough economic times are often related to an increase in these types of lawsuits. It is not clear why this relationship exists, but it could be a result of the difficulty of finding a new job after discrimination costs an employee their old job, amplifying the sense of injustice that one might feel after losing their job because of their race, religion, or disability status.
The improving economy was linked to the filing of 6,000 fewer discrimination claims during 2013 than during the previous fiscal year. However, the total amount collected by employees was actually higher. In 2012 employees who filed discrimination suits collected a total of $365 million, a record-breaking total. In 2013 even with fewer complaints, employees collected even more, setting a new record of $372 million.
Spread over about 93,000 lawsuits this number is less impressive, but it still shows the results of the efforts of employees who are willing to take a stand against discrimination.
Employment discrimination can take many forms, including not being considered for a raise or promotion, or being excluded from work and advancement opportunities. It is illegal to overlook someone because of their ethnicity, national origin, age, race, gender, disability status, or religion. Workers who experience this type of treatment at work can fight to make it right and get equal opportunities and pay as their coworkers.
Source: Business Management Daily, “EEOC: Fewer bias claims in 2013, bigger bucks,” Jan. 8, 2014.