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Charges of Gender Discrimination Climb; Co-Worker Dating Policies, Diversity Programs Gain Favor

  • March 9, 2005

Findings from 2004 Workplace Survey Reveal Changing Trends, Attitudes in Corporate America

NEW YORK (March 9, 2005) -- Jackson Lewis, a law firm dedicated to preventive strategies and positive solutions for the U.S. workplace, has released the 2004 findings from its annual "on the job" survey. 

The Jackson Lewis Workplace Survey was developed to chart trends and developments in workplace law and related issues.  In 2004, 234 corporate attorneys and human resource managers participated in Jackson Lewis workplace law conferences and symposiums around the country and answered questions about their individual organizations. 

Across America, the most notable changes in workplace trends and attitudes included the following:  

  • Gender discrimination charges spike in 2004.  In the 2004 survey, when participants were asked, "Was your company sued by an employee for any reason during the past year," 58% of the respondents cited gender discrimination as the basis for a charge.  In the 2003 survey, 48% of the respondents who answered yes to the question cited gender discrimination as a charge.
  • Co-worker dating policies gained popularity.  In 2004, 20% of the respondents said they have a policy regulating co-worker dating at their company, up 7% from 2002.
  • More companies launched diversity programs.  Diversity programs have increased dramatically over the past five years.  In 2004, more than half the companies  polled (55%) said they have a diversity program.  This is a significant increase from 2000 when only 33% of companies participating in a similar survey indicated they had established a program. 
  • Incidents of sexual harassment increased slightly.  In 2004, 63% of the survey respondents said they handled a complaint of sexual harassment at their company.  This is a 6% increase from 2003 when 57% of those polled reported complaints.  However, the 2004 finding pales in comparison to 1995 when 95% of participants in a similar survey said they dealt with a sexual harassment issue. 
  • Race discrimination charges abated during the past 12 months.  In 2004, less than half of those sued (49%) cited race discrimination as the charge.  This is a decrease from 2003 when 54% named race as the most common charge.  
  • The number of workplace lawsuits remained relatively stable.  In 2004, 57% of those polled said they were sued by an employee during the past 12 months, the same number as the previous year.  This is a slight decrease from 10 years ago (1995) when 62% answering a similar survey said they were sued by an employee.
  • The economic downturn is taking its toll.  When asked to identify the most critical workplace issue facing the nation, the majority – 61% – named job security. 

About Jackson Lewis LLP

Jackson Lewis represents management exclusively in employment, labor, benefits and immigration law and related litigation.  With 380 attorneys practicing in 21 offices nationwide, the firm has a national perspective and sensitivity to the nuances of regional business environments.

Guided by the principle that a positive work environment results in enhanced morale and increased productivity, the firm devotes a significant portion of its practice to management education and preventive programs.  This approach helps limit exposure to grievances, charges and lawsuits.

Please visit our firm Website:  Subscribe to our free email update service for the latest in workplace law developments and relate d events:  


Chris Wailes

Leslie Public Relations

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©2005 Jackson Lewis P.C. This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Jackson Lewis and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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