According to a survey of lawyers in the United States and the United Kingdom, employment claims pertaining to workplace discrimination and wage and hour disputes are only going to increase as 2013 wanders on.
The information comes from a survey of nearly 400 attorneys. Workplace discrimination was the most popular answer for the employment claim to see the biggest rise in 2013; that was followed closely by wage and hour disputes.
In this era of stagnant wage increases, frugal companies, and general financial instability, many employees suffer. They may be misclassified by their employers, leading to reduced earnings for the individual while easing the tax burden on their company. They may not be paid on time or even paid the right amount.
Such bookkeeping "tricks," if you can call them that, open the employer up for a lawsuit.
The reason for an increase in discrimination lawsuits is unclear, but there are numerous different ways for workplace discrimination to occur. Workplace discrimination does not necessarily have to be based on race or sex. Religious discrimination can be especially embarrassing for the victim; pregnancy discrimination is a not commonly referenced (and yet all too common) form of this discrimination, and age discrimination will be a growing factor as the baby boomer generation gets older.
If you feel you have been targeted by a company-wide policy of discrimination, or if people in your immediate workplace have singled you out with discriminatory behavior, you should consult an experienced employment law attorney to discuss your legal options.
Source: Reuters, "In-house counsel see rise in discrimination, wage cases," Brendan O'Brien, Feb. 27, 2013