Discrimination continues to be a common experience for workers in Massachusetts and across the country. According to a survey conducted by an online job site, almost 60% of all workers in the U.S. have personally experienced or witnessed discrimination on the job. Workers reported different experiences with various types of discrimination, including race, sex, age and disability discrimination. The site said that employees want a safer, more diverse and inclusive environment, and many are concerned about aspects of their identity and experiences being used against them in the workplace.
Women in Massachusetts continue to face substantial and pervasive employment discrimination on the job. High-profile cases have drawn attention to the issue of sexual harassment, especially in industries like entertainment and technology. However, there are a wide range of factors that contribute to sex discrimination on the job. Women find themselves being denied opportunities and promotions or facing termination due to stereotypes and other discriminatory factors. At the same time, many valid discrimination claims are never pursued because women fear that they will face retaliation on the job.
Individuals in Massachusetts who have been harassed or discriminated against at work may be able to file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If a claim is successful, a person may be able to obtain financial compensation as well as reinstatement to a position. Individuals who were bypassed for a job could be entitled to that position or a similar one. Similar positions are those that have mostly the same duties or responsibilities as those an individual lost out on.
Despite advances in legal rights for the LGBT community in Massachusetts, people continue to endure discrimination at work, like the transgender woman currently suing Circle K. Her lawsuit against the convenience store location that employed her seeks compensation for lost pay, benefits, emotional distress and legal costs. The 26-year-old woman reportedly lost her job after taking a day off to attend a pride parade in her neighborhood.
Men are more likely than women to experience discrimination in Massachusetts workplaces based on their age, according to a study. Insurance company Hiscox released its 2019 Ageism in the Workplace Study, which found that less than 33% of women believed age had been an obstacle in looking for a new job after they were 40 years old. At the same time, 43% of men in the study said they thought being 40 or over had negatively impacted their job search.
Employees in Massachusetts and throughout the country are generally protected from being harassed or discriminated against while pregnant. Furthermore, employers generally cannot discriminate or retaliate against an employee for being a parent. One Google employee claimed that the company didn't take action against a manager who was reported to HR for acting inappropriately toward an employee who was a mother. That employee eventually became pregnant and alleges that she too was harassed and treated inappropriately before leaving for maternity leave.
Women in Massachusetts can take comfort in knowing that workplace sexual harassment is on the decline. This is according to a study based on a survey of more than 500 women conducted from 2016 to 2018. The women questioned said fondling, leering and ogling, and other types of unwanted sexual attention occurred less frequently during the two-year period studied. However, the same study found that sexism is on the rise.
Transgender workers in Massachusetts and throughout the United States should be protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This is according to a brief submitted to the Supreme Court by the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund. The brief claims that discriminating against a transgender person is tantamount to sex discrimination, which Title VII prohibits. It backs up its claim by pointing to favorable rulings in 35 federal district courts over the past 20 years.
A survey by Glassdoor found that 53 percent of employees who are LGBTQ have witnessed or experienced anti-LGBTQ statements by people they work with. For employees in Massachusetts, such behavior could rise to the level of actionable discrimination. Around 30 percent of non-LGBTQ employees said they had witnessed the same sort of statements. According to a group leader with Glassdoor, 26 states do not have protections on the books for LGBTQ workers. Many employees believe coming out to employers and co-workers could negatively impact their careers.
Many LGBT employees in Massachusetts continue to struggle with discrimination in the workplace even after they have reached a significant amount of career success. This is underlined in a lawsuit by a former Goldman Sachs vice president who is suing the Wall Street bank for workplace discrimination. He says that he was fired from his job in retaliation for complaining about discriminatory behavior aimed at him because of his sexual orientation. The openly gay banker was part of the company's LGBT network before his dismissal.