Workplace discrimination is not always easy to recognize. Workers may feel uncomfortable with certain comments or actions, but brush it off as part of the job. They may even wonder: “Am I being over-sensitive? Or do other people feel the same way?”
The truth is, thousands of others are likely experiencing something similar. In order to help New York workers understand just how prevalent employment discrimination actually is, here is a look at the most common types of discrimination claims.
What is the most frequent type of discrimination claim?
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) tracks not just how many discrimination charges it receives from each state, but the type of discrimination detailed in the complaint. According to records published by the EEOC, the agency has received 40,550 discrimination charges from the state of New York over the past decade (2009-2019).
The 2019 top four most frequent types of discrimination alleged in these complaints for the State of New York are:
- Sex – 37.5% of total state charges
- Disability – 31.3%
- Race – 27.4%
- Age – 19.6%
(Individuals often file a single charge alleging multiple types of discrimination; the percentages for types of discrimination add up to more than 100% because of this overlap.) In addition, 57.2% of New York charges to the EEOC also allege retaliation based on an employee’s complaint about discrimination.
These figures help demonstrate just how widespread discrimination actually is.
Discrimination often goes unreported
While the EEOC’s statistics are helpful, it’s important to remember that not every case of employment discrimination is reported to the agency. In fact, many problematic incidents don’t even get brought to the employer.
A previous report found three out of four individuals that suffered harassment at work did not tell their superiors or management. This means the number of charges government agencies ultimately receive may represent a “fraction of the likely discrimination that occurs in the workplace.”
If you’re experiencing actions or words that seem like discrimination, there are steps you can take to help your situation. And remember: You’re not alone.