The Federal Civil Rights Law forbids workplace discrimination based on race, color, gender, nationality and religion. It is meant to protect employees’ civil rights by making discrimination based on these factors illegal. The act, also known as Title VII, was enacted in 1964, but it is just as relevant today as it was over 50 years ago.
Workplace discrimination has become a hot-button issue for employers and employees alike. Awareness of workplace discrimination has risen dramatically in the past year–for several significant reasons.
Word of mouth
Victims and witnesses of workplace discrimination are becoming increasingly vocal about their experience. It could be that when more people open up about their discrimination, it inspires others to speak up as well. As one person confides in their friends, family and colleagues, these people confide their own experience to their acquaintances, and so on.
Social media platforms
Social media makes it easier than ever to air grievances to a wide audience. Some victims of workplace harassment choose to reach out to their friends on social media for support. Others use social media to publicly reprimand their employers and coworkers for being discriminatory. And social media content can be shared with hundreds–sometimes even thousands or millions–of people with the click of a button.
It seems impossible to turn on the TV, open a newspaper or scroll through the internet without hearing about a new incident of workplace discrimination. Sexual harassment–a form of gender discrimination–in particular has come to the forefront. The widespread media coverage has reached a massive audience of millions people, increasing awareness exponentially.
Recently, there have been several high-profile cases of workplace discrimination involving sexual harassment and gender discrimination. Lawsuits have popped up in a wide variety of fields: Politics, entertainment, business and sports. These highly publicized cases attract more attention than most other workplace discrimination cases, boosting public awareness of the issue.