Are employment discrimination claims common in California?



Are employment discrimination claims common in California?

If you have experienced employment discrimination you are not alone. While it is unfair to be in this situation, the tens of thousands of people who come forward each year to tell their stories in court help to raise awareness of discrimination, and to fight back so that hopefully others may not have to experience the same unfair treatment in future.

The California State Department of Fair Employment and Housing tracks discrimination claims in the state. Data for the most recent available year shows:

  • 27,840 complaints of employment discrimination were received.
  • 20,822 complaints of employment discrimination were filed, either by DFEH or through private California employment discrimination attorneys.
  • While DFEH facilitated a resolution in 792 cases, the vast majority of complaints were filed by private attorneys.
  • Of all DFEH employment discrimination cases, the most common types of discrimination were:
    • Disability discrimination – 29 percent
    • Retaliation (e.g., for reporting discrimination) – 26 percent
    • Sex/Gender discrimination – 12 percent
    • Race discrimination – 12 percent
    • Age discrimination – 11 percent

Additional cases are filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). According to data from the most recent available year:

  • The EEOC brought 72,675 cases involving one or more types of employment discrimination.
  • Of all EEOC employment discrimination cases, the most common types of discrimination were (note that many claims raise more than one type of discrimination):
    • Retaliation – 54 percent
    • Disability discrimination – 33 percent
    • Race discrimination – 33 percent
    • Sex discrimination – 22 percent
    • Age discrimination – 21 percent

However these are only the people that come forward, and the real number of job discrimination incidents is probably many times higher. Studies suggest that most employment discrimination cases go unreported. Employees may not report discrimination for several reasons, including:

  • Fear of employer retaliation;
  • Concerns they will not be believed;
  • Concern that co-workers will treat them differently;
  • No longer wanting to work at the job;
  • Re-living the trauma associated with the discrimination; or
  • Hindering future job opportunities.

No one should have to experience discrimination in the workplace, but if you do, the skilled employment attorneys at the McCormack Law Firm based in San Francisco can advise you of the pros and cons of the different choices available to you.

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