Job discrimination claims drop but problem still persists

Frank S. Clowney III

It’s a fact across the nation that no matter how many rules and regulations that exist, there will always be someone around to break them. This is certainly the case with employment law, which residents here in California and our frequent readers see on a regular basis. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claims of job discrimination often spike during recessions. But what are the underlying factors for this workplace discrimination and why did numbers drop in 2013?

Although it’s difficult to pinpoint a single reason why claims of discrimination rise during an economic recession, one contributing factor may be that because of the limited number of jobs in the market, companies and business owners tend to scrutinize applications and employees. Although employers justify this skepticism as a way of getting the best employee possible for the job, they might also be engaging in discriminatory practices as well, which is against the law and can lead to litigation.

So why did the EEOC, in 2013, receive 6,000 fewer claims than 2012? While one possibility is the fact that the nation was coming out of the recession and that more jobs in the market mitigated skeptical employers, the EEOC cites another factor as the reason. According to the EEOC, a possible reason for the drop in claims is due in part because the agency has been targeting companies that have systematically engaged in job bias. By consistently holding these companies accountable for breaking the law, the EEOC is attempting to stop the behavior from happening again and therefore protecting future employees from experiencing discrimination of their own.

While we know that not all cases of discrimination can be stopped, it’s important to note that employees do have the right to seek legal counsel and can file a discrimination claim with the EEOC who will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

Source: Business Management Daily, “EEOC: Fewer bias claims in 2013, bigger bucks,” Jan. 8, 2014