Workplace DiscriminationA Form of Bullying

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Workplace discrimination is a topic that is kept under wraps these days; it does, nonetheless, ring loudly in the ears of everyone who has fallen victim to its indignation. Although workplace discrimination is against the law, it is alive and well in more workplaces than anyone would care to admit.

Discrimination comes wearing a variety of masks. Age discrimination is an ugly one, but no uglier than sex discrimination or racial discrimination. People who suffer with disabilities, physical, mental, and emotional, are often the victims of discrimination as well. An interesting fact is that in 2011, according to a survey performed, 45% of people admitted to having seen some type of wrongdoing on their job. Most people, unfortunately, are hesitant to report unethical acts they observe in the workplace for fear of repercussions from those who performed those acts.

The Whistleblower Protection Act was created to protect workers against retaliation or termination resulting from their reporting something illegal that they have seen or heard at their workplace. There are a long, long list of situations that are happening within companies everywhere that could be construed as dishonest or illegal. Whistleblowing has been defined, in essence, as a worker reporting something they have seen on the job that puts someone’s health or safety in danger, or someone, including the company itself, doing something that is illegal. Another term used for whistleblower is making a disclosure in the public’s interest. The Whistleblower Protection Act protects those reporting issues from mistreatment or termination as a result of the fact that they reported a misconduct. Whistleblowing is said to be the most common method of detecting fraud within a company. As many as 22% of workers who stepped up to report a wrongdoing within their place of business reported that they did experience some type of repercussions as a result.

Sexual harassment is still way at the top of the list of discriminatory acts that some employers continue to carry out. A survey in 2014 revealed that there were 10,364 sexual discrimination lawsuits filed in that year alone. Sexual harassment comes under the heading of sexual discrimination, including harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and unequal pay for women who perform the same jobs as do the men within the same company.

Discrimination against people with disabilities is all too common. The United States Census Bureau reported that individuals ranging between the ages of 21 and 64 who suffer some type of disability receive an average monthly salary of approximately $1,961. This is in comparison with the monthly $2,724 per month earned by people of the same age group who have no type of disability.

An example of outright discrimination against a person with a disability would be any public place, for instance a restaurant, that would not allow a disabled person to dine in the room set aside for family dining, but would seat them somewhere else so that their disability would not be so obvious to the public.

Discrimination can be outright or it can be not so obvious to the naked eye. The Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act protects individuals with any type of disability from being discriminated against, or being turned away by, private employers, state and local governments, labor unions or employment agencies for that reason. Discrimination against individuals with disabilities includes hiring and firing, promotions, pay raises, or any activities related to their employment. It also includes questions about their past or present medical condition or requiring them to take any type of medical exam. This type of discrimination also consists of the employer’s refusal to create a safe work environment for a disabled person, for allowing there to be obstacles and barriers that would prevent safe and easy movement.

Workplace discrimination is, unfortunately, an entity that still lives and breathes in thousands of workplaces throughout the world. All too often people choose to keep the peace, and stay quiet about what they have seen or heard. Workers desperate to keep their job will turn a blind eye in spite of knowing that what they have observed is illegal. Workplace discrimination is a form of bullying that preys on fear. Fear of retaliation on the part of the bully.

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