This past year, partially due to the continuous falling of the economy, workplace discrimination cases are at an all-time high. The number of “Merit Resolutions”, or the cases that went favorably for the charging party, is astounding and varies greatly from state to state. Most of these cases are “retaliatory charges”, meaning the employee had been fired, demoted, or otherwise damaged because they were resisting discrimination in their workplace. Nationwide, the next most prevalent charges were because of race and gender bias, then religious bias. Though some may argue that the five states with the highest number of Merit Resolutions are in the ranking simply because of population size, population is only one factor in the amount of workplace discrimination complaints that are filed.
No. 5: Indiana
The 15th largest state in the US boasted mostly race-based discrimination cases, followed by disability and gender. In recent years they have had 22.9% of all Merit Resolutions, and paid over 11 million dollars in compensation.
No. 4: Georgia
Race-based complaints are also the most common ones in the 9th most populous state, with 29.1% of their workforce being black, and 8.8% hispanic. Georgia paid over 21 million dollars in reparations.
No. 3: California
Despite being the most heavily-populated state in the nation, California ranks only at number three in workplace discrimination cases. Though they have the country’s largest civil rights agency, considering 26.8% of its residents are foreign-born, they have ben making consolidations and cutbacks to that department, cutting jobs and saving money. California has an especially high rate of disability bias, due to employers not wanting to be inconvenienced by an employee’s disability.
No. 2: Florida
Florida has had the second highest number of workplace discrimination cases for three years in a row now, probably due to their minimal worker protection laws. Its population is the fourth largest, and most of the complaints have been retaliatory charges. Having paid more than $22 million in compensation, the sunshine state had 18.9% of the entire country’s Merit Resolutions.
No. 1: Texas
Like Georgia, Texas has very minimal worker protection laws, partially due to its work “at will” status, meaning employers can fire their employees for anything, provided it is not illegal. Thousands of complaints were filed in Texas, which is notorious for performing background checks on its minority workers, which are often incorrect or incomplete. They have paid over $33 million in workers’ compensation due to discrimination charges.
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Peter Wendt is a writer from the great state of Texas. He enjoys researching legal matters, especially when it comes to employment and labor law. If you share this interest of his, he recommends you read more here.