In today’s day and age, it is easy to assume that many of the hot button issues of days past have come and gone. The same jokes used in Hollywood films years ago are no longer regarded as funny, and each day women have more career and educational opportunities. However, a startling report released by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace has revealed that the workplace in the United States may not be as modern as we would like to believe.
The report released by the EEOC describes and details the efforts to remove all types of harassment, such as racial or sexual, from the workplace. Specifically, the task force found a lot of information regarding how individuals with particular sexual orientations or gender identities were treated while at work. This is not too surprising, as the EEOC has spearheaded many of the efforts under existing federal law to eradicate instances of sex discrimination from the workplace.
In the findings, it was reported that nearly one-third of the 90,0000 discrimination charges that the EEOC received last year involved workplace harassment of some kind, including racial and ethnic harassment. There have been reports that this specific type of harassment is understudied, and often times underreported. However, the report revealed that it maybe be possible that up to 60 percent of workers have experienced some type of racial or ethnicity-based harassment while at work. This includes racial slurs, derogatory comments, different treatment, isolation, or other forms of harassment based solely on race, ethnicity, or perceived race or ethnicity.
However, those in the LGBTQA community did not fare much better in the report. According to its findings, 35 percent of gay and bisexual people whose sexual orientation is known in the workplace regularly suffer from harassment. Nearly 58 percent of those that identify as part of the community have heard derogatory comments in regard to sexual orientation or gender identity while on the job. Even more disturbingly, 42 percent of respondents reported experiencing verbal or physical abuse while at work, or having their work spaces vandalized.
Transgender workers face their own unique issues while at their place of work. In a survey, half of all respondents reported some form of workplace harassment. Seven percent of trans workers reported being physically assaulted due to their gender identity alone. Around 41 percent of those same workers have been asked uncomfortable and unwelcomed questions in regard to their gender identity and physical anatomy. Trans workers also face being “misgendered”, with 45 percent of trans workers reporting being referred to by the incorrect pronoun in such a way that could not be confused for a mistake.
Despite workplace harassment affecting many communities and groups of people, only three out of four individuals that have been harassed speak up. The authors of the study suggest revamping training styles that will do more to help avoid legal repercussions while increasing encouragement for co-workers to be proactive and intervene when they witness harassment. By lowering the rate of the bystander effect, workplaces can use their own company culture to combat harassment.
Cherry Hill Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Advocate for Workers of All Lifestyles
Regardless of identity and lifestyle choices, every worker deserves a safe work environment. Our team of Cherry Hill employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. advocates for workers that have been harassed on the job. Contact us online or call 215-569-1999 today to find out your legal options.