Racism and ageism are still common in American workplaces

Workers in New York and around the country are more likely to report witnessing or experiencing workplace discrimination than European workers according to the results of a recent survey. The online review company Glassdoor asked 1,100 American workers about discrimination in the workplace based on age, gender, race or sexual orientation, and they then compared their answers with the responses given by workers in the United Kingdom, Germany and France. More than six out of 10 of the Americans said that they had been exposed to this kind of discrimination in some way. The figures from British, French and German workers were 55%, 43% and 37% respectively.

More than 40% of the U.S. workers who participated in the Glassdoor survey told pollers that they had witnessed or experienced racist behavior while at work, but the results suggest that age-based discrimination is even more common in American workplaces. Ageism was the most common form of discrimination cited by American and British respondents. Gender-based discrimination was the most commonly experienced or witnessed type of workplace discrimination in Germany and France.

Most of the workers polled conceded that their employers had taken steps to address workplace discrimination, and more than three-quarters said that they worked in diverse environments. The results also suggest that spending on diversity initiatives has increased in recent years. However, half of the workers polled by Glassdoor said that the efforts being made by their employers were not sufficient.

In New York, discrimination based on race, national origin, religion, gender or age are prohibited by federal and state law. Attorneys with experience in these matters may seek to hold employers responsible for breaking these laws by initiating legal actions on behalf of workers who have been treated unfairly. When violations are flagrant and ongoing, attorneys might seek punitive as well as compensatory damages for workers who have suffered injury, loss or damage.

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