Why don’t people report workplace discrimination?

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2022 | Employment law

Experts know that discrimination is disturbingly common in the workplace. They also know that most of these cases do not get reported. Some have called the reporting rates for workplace discrimination extremely low.

What this suggests is that for every time an employee claims that they faced discrimination in the workplace, there are likely many more employees who are facing the same treatment and who are doing nothing. But why is this? Why wouldn’t someone report that they were the victim of discrimination?

They worry about retaliation

What these reports have also found is that retaliation is usually the main concern. The employee worries about being marginalized or treated differently in some way. They decline to report the mistreatment because they don’t want to deal with retaliation, which could include losing their job.

For instance, maybe an employee felt that they were discriminated against due to the fact that they were pregnant or that they had to take time off to care for a sick relative. They may know that this was unfair treatment, but they worry that filing a complaint is just going to make things worse. Maybe they feel like they just barely kept their job the first time, and they’re sure that they’ll be fired if they try to escalate things and make that report.

Of course, retaliation is illegal, even if it doesn’t involve the loss of your job. However, that still doesn’t ease all the fears that employees may have about seeking a remedy for mistreatment. This is why it’s very important to understand your legal rights in the workplace and your options if those rights are violated.