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Workplace discrimination affects far more than just targeted employees

On Behalf of | Oct 6, 2020 | Employee Discrimination

Some people unquestionably go about life with attitudes marked by a lack of empathy for others. Their mindset suggests that they either don’t see or simply don’t care much about challenges and inequities that third parties face.

Such indifference and its coupled inability to see life even momentarily from the perspective of other persons is troubling, of course.

But is may also be a bit overstated.

That conclusion seems implicit in a report authored by one preeminent scientific organization. Material findings uncovered in that study clearly indicate that most Americans can readily identify with hardships and problems being faced by others.

Because it is often the case that they confront similar challenges.

What researchers from the American Psychological Association prominently stress is this: a broadly shared experience among people spanning the country grounded in adverse behaviors personally directed their way.

An article spotlighting the APA sheds light on that by noting this: A clear majority of people nationally “report some form of prejudicial treatment in their day-to-day life.”

Notably, much adverse behavior directed in a personal way toward others features in workplaces of virtually every type. A common view holds that discriminatory conduct is typically narrowly directed and primarily affects only a targeted individual, but that is clearly a misconception. As the above-cited article notes, “unchecked discrimination can have greater reaching effects as well.”

The rippling effects of workplace discrimination

Who is hurt by prejudicial misconduct at work?

Evidence suggests that, while a targeted employee is most immediately harmed, the adverse consequences of on-the-job discrimination extend outward in broad and often unanticipated ways. Here are just a few examples:

  • Diminished group/section productivity owing to one worker’s challenges and inability to continue performing at a high level
  • Higher company costs and coupled time expended on dealing with complaints, implementing training programs and hiring new workers
  • Morale decline that can progressively expand across a department or company
  • Reputational hits for an employer
  • Myriad repercussions flowing from litigation

The negative implications stemming from discrimination in any work venue are truly outsized and often extend to all corners of an enterprise. The aforementioned article duly notes that, “When discrimination is allowed to permeate [a] workplace, it can have negative effects on employees as well as the company as a whole.”

Evidence suggests that most people recognize discriminatory behaviors when they are on display and, in fact, have been targeted by some form of prejudicial treatment themselves.

It is unquestionably to the benefit of all that America’s work environments progressively spotlight discriminatory behavior and take an encompassing, proactive stance to eradicate it.


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