The numbers behind 2 decades of sex-based discrimination

Increases in sex-based complaints coincide with an increase in the number of women being hired in varying fields.

Ladders recently reported on the steady rise of women CEO’s occurring over the last five years. In companion with the study that tracked female presence in the corporate world, there were also statistics advertising a disproportionate number of unlawful dismissals staffed by sex-based discrimination.

The numbers come courtesy of a study conducted by InsuranceQuotes using data compiled over two decades by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Sex-based prejudice accounts for about 25% of discrimination complaints – additionally, the majority of percentages regarding paternity complaints belong to gender biases.

Reports of sexual discrimination were found to be particularly prevalent in Mississippi and Alabama, with each averaging  18 complaints per 100,000 residents – though Washington D.C had the most instances of sexual discrimination complaints overall.

 

It’s worse in some states

Neither Mississippi nor Alabama have any kind of equal pay laws, which means employers can lawfully compensate laborers after their own discretion for the same work.

While it should be noted that all but eight states saw a decline in complaints in the last few years, some states fostered a substantial increase. Mississippi experienced a surge of 20% and Maryland’s total rose by 17%.

Increases in sex-based complaints coincide with an increase in the number of women being hired in varying fields. The years between 2005 and 2009 saw a major spike in the phenomenon (note 2005 houses the Supreme Court ruling in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. White). Conversely, 2013 and 2014 saw a sharp drop (8.8% and 6% respectively.)

In recent years, more and more cases are closed on the account of a lack of a “reasonable cause” (two-thirds of complaints ended with this verdict in 2017.)  In the instances wherein discrimination allegations are deemed conclusive, the settlement the victim receives has increased gradually. In 1997 for instance, a collective settlement was determined at around $73 million, which breaks down to $19,000 per complaint. In 2017, the number soared to $135 million ($28,000 per complaint.)

Policy has hasted the pace of progress. In 2015, accommodation charges in response to gender complaints surged past $2,500. In 2012, charges alleging discrimination reached 90 and 75% respectively.

A distinction must be considered between the alteration of numbers and progress.  An increase in gender-based complaints is not as a rule indicative of ethical misbehavior. In some instances, it’s a portent of burgeoning encouragement for those who feel victimize by unfair promotion and wage stipulations to speak up.

CW Headley|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at cheadley@theladders.com.