Ridout Barron


Survey finds high prevalence of workplace discrimination

A consulting company conducted an online poll from April 10 through May 1 among over 5,000 employees of large companies with employee numbers exceeding 1,000. The aim was to judge the level of discrimination in workplaces across Canada, including Alberta. The survey focused on inclusion and diversity in recruitment, advancement, retention and commitment of leadership in the surveyed companies.

Although the results reportedly compared favourably with other countries, a spokesperson for the consulting company asserts that workplace discrimination remains an obstacle. Analysis of the responses indicates that about one-third of workers who identify with diversity groups had encountered discriminatory incidents. These groups include women, people of colour and those who identify as LGBTQ. The percentage went up to 40% and beyond for respondents with disabilities and those with indigenous backgrounds.

Although human rights laws protect minority groups against discrimination, this survey shows that it remains rampant. Workers who believe that discrimination in their workplaces is holding them back from achieving their goals in any form might have questions about their legal options. Sadly, many of those who are victims of discrimination fear to lose their jobs if they speak up against discrimination.

For both employers accused of discrimination, and employees alleging discrimination, the sensible thing to do might be to consult with an experienced employment law lawyer. A lawyer in Alberta can assess the circumstances and the allegations of discrimination before explaining the available options. Legal counsel can suggest the best route to take to resolve the matter in the best possible way -- whether through mediation or litigation. Not all cases need to go to court, which can be costly affairs when a better outcome might be achieved if both parties and their lawyers sit down and address the relevant matters directly.

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Ridout Barron

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