The Effects of Discrimination in the Workplace

by Grace Ferguson; Updated September 26, 2017
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Workplace discrimination has been a vast societal issue for several decades. With the implementation of new laws to protect potential victims, the problem is federally and locally addressed. Still, it happens frequently and the effects are devastating.

Definition

Workplace discrimination refers to a work environment that exhibits bias in the treatment of employees. This ranges from marital status, gender, pregnancy, gender change, sexual preference, pregnancy, race, color, nationality, belief and age. It is also seen among coworkers who display discriminatory behavior toward each other.

Unemployment Rate

Workplace discrimination is a common cause of the nation's skyrocketing unemployment rate. If a company does not hire women, then the female applicant does not get the job. The same reasoning applies to all of the aforementioned categories affected by workplace discrimination. These individuals are without job opportunities and therefore unemployed.

Violence

The discriminated party is usually smart enough to know why he wasn't hired. This instills anger and hurt in him. How he releases these feelings may result in violence. His self-esteem is shattered and he unleashed his negativity on those around him. Many mass murder and domestic violence cases are a result of workplace discrimination.

Productivity

An employee subject to workplace discrimination is apt to lose interest in his duties and in the company. For example: He's of a different race than his peers, who make subtle inappropriate jokes about his culture. He tells his supervisor, who waves it off, stating,"Oh, that's nothing." This sends his morale into a downward spiral, which results in lack of productivity.

Hopelessness

Workplace discrimination can have harsh effects on the psyche. When hopelessness sets in, he feels unworthy and like a failure--he thinks it's all his fault. His drive to succeed is elusive and he gives up on life. This deteriorating stage can lead to severe depression.

Employee Rights

Inform your employer of the discrimination. Keep a log of the discriminatory acts you suffered. Read and keep a copy of your company's anti-discrimination policy. Educate yourself on federal and state laws regarding workplace discrimination. One of the federal laws citing discrimination is the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title V11. It states: "This federal law prohibits discrimination in terms and conditions of employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, sex and religion." It is crucial to know your rights.

About the Author

Grace Ferguson has been writing professionally since 2009. With 10 years of experience in employee benefits and payroll administration, Ferguson has written extensively on topics relating to employment and finance. A research writer as well, she has been published in The Sage Encyclopedia and Mission Bell Media.

Photo Credits

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