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How discrimination may affect employees long term

Although there are laws meant to protect workers in California from workplace discrimination, it still occurs. Whether it is discrimination due to race, gender, disability, religion or age, studies show that over time, this behavior has negative effects on workers and their physical and mental health.

According to the U.S. Army, a stalled career is just one of the negative effects of discrimination in the workplace. In general, there is a higher incidence of problems related to health as well as psychological distress. Some of these effects include:

  • Heart problems and high blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Obesity 
  • Anxiety
  • General aches and pains
  • Suicide attempts

The work environment also notices an effect, as discrimination victims may be less productive and show up late or leave early. More specifically, people who experience sexual harassment in their places of work tend to have more problems with alcohol, while victims of racial discrimination tend to turn towards smoking as a way to cope. 

The Journals of Gerontology discusses how the perception of age discrimination affects older workers. Despite the increased need for people to work at older ages, due to factors such as eligibility ages, better health, financial necessity and greater longevity, the working environment for this tends not to be very receptive. Some of the stereotypical views others have about older employees include:

  • Less creativity
  • Less receptive to change
  • Poor work performance and productivity
  • Unable to adapt and learn new things

Studies show that a chronic work environment wears older individuals down over time. Some of the negative effects include a decrease in complex thinking, diminished health and decreased job satisfaction.



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