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EEOC received more than 99,000 discrimination complaints in 2012

Last week on our San Diego employment law blog, we had mentioned that wage theft is a common, but illegal practice that affects thousands of workers every year in California and throughout the U.S.

Some employees might realize that they are not receiving the pay that they are entitled to receive, but they continue working without speaking up about their employers' violations because they are afraid of losing their jobs after filing a complaint. In other situations, workers don't even realize that they are victims of wage theft because they are unaware of their rights in the workplace.

In addition to wage theft, employment discrimination is another workplace issue that affects too many workers every year. Discrimination may include firing a worker because he or she has a disability or is older. Discrimination may also include refusing to give a deserving employee a promotion because of the employee's race, gender or religion.

How common is workplace discrimination? The answer: Discrimination in the workplace is too common. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, nearly 100,000 employees were affected by discrimination in the workplace during the 2012 fiscal year. This number only includes private sector employees who filed complaints with the agency.

The agency said that it received a total of 99,412 workplace discrimination complaints from private sector employees from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. More than 33,500 complaints were filed by workers who claimed that they were discriminated against on the basis of their race. More than 30,300 complaints filed with the EEOC were made by workers who believed that they were discriminated against on their basis of their sex or pregnancy.

Workplace discrimination continues to affect thousands of workers every year throughout the country. Although workers should never be discriminated against in the workplace, they should know that they are not alone and they have every right to take action like thousands of other workers do every year in order to protect their rights in the workplace.

Source: EEOC.gov, "EEOC reports nearly 100,000 job bias charges in fiscal year 2012," Jan. 28, 2013