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Florida rife with workplace harassment and racial discrimination

According to a recent report created by The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the state of Florida received more than 7,500 harassment and sexual or racial discrimination claims for 2013. In terms of totals for the United States, Florida's figures make up about 8 percent and means our state comes in at second, ahead of California and just behind Texas. Any discrimination is bad, but the American workplace discrimination total of 94,000 charges for 2013 has dropped since 2012 by about 6,000 charges.

A company called The Network went on to analyze the commission's report and formulated a breakdown of the trends associated with Florida's discrimination and harassment charges. The Network, which is an organization specializing in risk, compliance and governance issues uncovered some disturbing patterns taking place in Florida's working communities.

A vice president associated with The Network said, overall, the most harassment and discrimination charges people file are for retaliation, sex and race. He went on to add that the first step in fighting and reducing these charges is creating and enforcing strong codes of conduct for the workplace. The vice president added that educating employees about what constitutes discrimination or harassment and teaching them how to respond is an important step.

Of the total charges made in Florida, approximately 33 percent were related to race discrimination, about 40 percent were related to workplace discrimination and about 30 percent were sex-related charges. While these high figures point to an ongoing job-related discrimination problem, some equal opportunity advocates see the figures as a good thing, as it means more people are reporting discrimination. Employee education programs about workplace discrimination have an important place in prevention, but sometimes legal action under the guidance of a race discrimination attorney might make a louder and more visible statement about the harsh penalties of job-related discrimination.

Source:  The Independent Florida Alligator, "Florida ranks No. 2 in workplace harassment, discrimination" Hanna Marcus, Apr. 01, 2014

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