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Friday, December 16, 2005  

News: Poll shows shift in discrimination claims

Information gathered earlier this year provides a picture of current trends regarding discrimination in the American workplace. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.

WASHINGTON -- Nearly one out of every six U.S. employees claimed to have faced discrimination at work in the past year, with women more than twice as likely as men to claim bias over hiring and pay, according to a poll.

The poll released last week by the Gallup Organization found that middle-aged women and minorities were more likely to report being victims. Out of the part-time and full-time workers interviewed by telephone, women were more than twice as likely to claim discrimination (22 percent) as men (9 percent).

Among racial groups, Asians and blacks led the pack (31 percent and 26 percent, respectively) in saying they were treated unfairly, followed by Hispanics (18 percent) and then whites (12 percent).

Broken down by age, 18 percent of employees alleging discrimination were age 40-49, followed by 17 percent for those age 50-59, and 15 percent for workers age 30-39. Complaints by those age 60 and over, as well younger workers age 18-29, were divided evenly at 11 percent.

During the 40 years employment discrimination complaints have been around, the groups most likely to claim discrimination in the workplace have shifted, partly because the laws have been amended to include age discrimination and expand protection against discrimination based on gender. Predictably, women are still more likely to believe they are mistreated than men. However, Asian-Americans have supplanted African-Americans in dissatisfaction with treatment by employers. That shift may explain the Gallop poll's finding that complaints about promotions and pay are now more common than those about hiring and work conditions. Traditionally, Asian-Americans, as a group, have earned less than white workers with similar or less eductational attainment, and, have been less likely to be promoted. Though black Americans also encounter problems with promotion and wage discrimination, difficulty with obtaining employment was often the focus of their complaints.

posted by J. | 9:30 PM