Once upon a time, employers in this country could pretty much get away with anything. They could pay women less, harass their female employees, assign people of color lower-paying or less-attractive work than white employees and do other egregious actions with total impunity.
Things have changed.
In record numbers, employees speak out on discrimination and harassment
This figure may shock you: 99% of all Fortune 500 companies have paid out settlements due to claims of discrimination or sexual harassment. This figure does not take into account any cases that were never publicly recorded.
In recent years, there has been a seismic shift in the way that employees react to discrimination or harassment in the workplace. Thanks to the #MeToo movement, the push to make natural hair and ethnic grooming methods acceptable in the workplace and more, there has been a social shift. Employees no longer feel compelled to accept mistreatment and stay silent about ageist, racist, ableist and sexist behavior.
Some major companies were taken to task in 2020
Numerous major employers have faced lawsuits in the last year, including:
- Amazon sued for wrongful termination after a hiring manager was fired over her objections to being ordered to stalk the social media profiles of job applicants to determine their gender identity and race.
- Bloomberg sued by a former reporter for promotion and pay practices that were biased against women of color.
- Disney sued for gender-based pay discrimination by at least 10 former employees at the executive level.
- Facebook accused of racial discrimination against Black employees from the hiring process onward, including the way in which promotions were awarded.
- Fox News faced a lawsuit by a former business producer over allegations that an ex-host sexually violated her and that executives did nothing in response.
By no means are these the only lawsuits, but they show that employees are no longer accepting workplace mistreatment — even by major firms.
If you’ve experienced mistreatment, harassment, discrimination or abuse at work, you have rights. Talk to an attorney today about what you should do next.