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Rise in discrimination claims linked to employee knowledge

The number of retaliation and discrimination claims in the United States has been climbing over the years. One report showed that there were a record number in 2013, when a total of 38,539 retaliation charges were filed.

This is an interesting trend, in that so much work has been done to improve the workplace. Laws protecting workers have been put on the books, and the ways that companies are run have changed. If you asked most people if there was more discrimination in America now or in 1980, they’d say we see less of it today. However, the stats seem to tell the opposite story.

Some experts have a theory on why this has happened. They believe that there are more claims these days not because there are more instances of discrimination or retaliation, but because employees know more about their rights now and are not afraid to act.

In the past, employees may not have known where to turn. They may have just tried to ignore the problem or have been scared to act. They may even have accepted improper behavior simply as the way things were in their workplace.

Now, employees are far less willing to stand for this type of behavior in the workplace. Employees aren’t as intimidated by their bosses, and they know their own rights as individuals. If the law is being broken, they’re less afraid to do something about it, the theory claims.

In most situations like this, there are many components to consider, but this theory could carry a lot of weight. Be sure you know all of your rights and legal options in New Jersey.

Source: Washington Post, “Rise in retaliation claims reflect changing laws, attitudes about workplace bias,” Catherine Ho, accessed May 20, 2016

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