Addressing Workplace Inequality: The Fight Against Wrongful Termination

Workplace inequality and wrongful termination are pernicious issues that can devastate employees. Though laws exist to protect workers, loopholes and poor enforcement allow many organizations to perpetuate discriminatory practices.

Employees who lose their jobs due to unlawful reasons such as bias or retaliation often experience financial turmoil and emotional trauma. Nevertheless, progress is being made in preventing wrongful termination and fostering more equitable workplaces through activism, legislation, and litigation.

The Scope of the Issue

Wrongful termination affects millions of people annually, regardless of their industry, gender, race, or background. About 150,000 termination disputes are filed yearly in the U.S. according to Cornell Law School data. The most common illegal reasons include discrimination based on protected traits like race, gender, religion, and disability.

Retaliation for whistleblowing, rejecting sexual advances, taking medical leave, or other protected activities is another top cause. Exact statistics are unknown due to underreporting, but surveys show over 20% of women and 10% of men have experienced wrongful firing. Workers in marginalized groups face increased risks.

If you believe you’ve been unfairly dismissed, it’s advisable to consult a wrongful termination attorney in Los Angeles to understand your rights and explore your legal options. In the end, wrongful termination promotes inequality and threatens livelihoods. Those fired often suffer severe financial hardship, destroyed careers, psychological trauma, and broken trust. Organizations face decreasing engagement, lost talent, and legal liabilities.

Causes and Contributing Factors

Several cultural, systemic, and regulatory factors allow wrongful termination’s prevalence. Many individuals point to corporate cultures that widely overlook issues of harassment and discrimination. For example, studies show three-quarters of workers see biased comments, but only a fraction report issues.

This silence enables prejudice and retaliation to go unchecked. Outdated social attitudes portraying minorities and pregnant women as less dedicated employees also contribute. Furthermore, current anti-discrimination laws have gaps and exemptions that provide inadequate protections.

Enforcement is often weak, allowing violators to dodge consequences. Complainants face distrustful employers, short filing deadlines, expensive legal fees, and difficulty proving motives. Many valid cases are never reported or fail to succeed in the current system.

Progress Through Workplace Activism

Lately, groups like MeToo have been speaking up about problems at work, like people being treated badly and punished for speaking out. This has made everyone more aware of issues like harassment and unfair practices. Workers are getting upset and asking for changes.

Nonprofit groups and social media are helping workers share their stories without being afraid. For example, there’s a group called Times Up that supports people who face harassment. This also makes companies deal with their problems instead of ignoring them.

Activists want more diversity in leadership and better rules to make sure everyone behaves ethically.

Many companies now make their employees take anti-harassment training, make sure their human resource teams represent everyone, and encourage anonymous feedback. Despite improvements, activists emphasize the need to continue pushing for change. Workplace activism is good at making cultures better and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Changing the Laws Against Discrimination

Creating new laws is crucial to ensure fairness in workplaces. Groups like the National Women’s Law Center and AARP want to update state and federal laws to stop unfair practices. They helped pass a law called the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which stops discrimination against pregnant women.

They also want to ban forced arbitration, give small businesses anti-discrimination rules, increase punishments for breaking the rules, and provide more time to report problems. Creating stronger laws and making sure they are enforced is key to stopping unfair firings.

Litigation Challenging Unjust Terminations

When other ways to cause change fail, taking workplace disputes to court remains an essential tool for justice. Significant court decisions set precedents that reinforce rights and send a message to employers. In 2019, TriNet and chip-maker ActivIdentity were ordered to pay $39 million to four Muslim and African employees subjected to harassment. 

In another recent case, Walmart was forced to award $5 million to a worker fired for medical absences. Such outcomes set important examples while recovering damages for the plaintiffs. However, the average worker still faces barriers to pursuing litigation including expensive legal fees and short filing deadlines.

Groups like Outten & Golden LLP and Public Justice accept pro bono cases to help wrongfully fired people through the complex court process. They help plaintiffs access legal resources and counter the advantages of large corporations. When combined with activism and changing laws, impact litigation creates positive lasting change around workplace equality.

The Path Forward

Wrongful termination inflicts significant harm, but progress is achievable through coordinated efforts. Workplace AC activists promote awareness, policy reform, and cultural accountability. Lawmakers strengthen protections and enforcement through new laws. Lawyers empower plaintiffs and defend their rights in court. 

And workers unite their voices against injustice. With vigilance and teamwork, wrongful termination’s grip over workplaces can be broken, leading to more just environments where all can thrive based on merit. There remains difficult work ahead, but a brighter future is possible.

Final Thoughts

In the fight against unfairly firing people and treating everyone equally at work, it’s important to know the rules, have good company policies, and ensure everyone feels included. Both workers and managers play crucial roles in ensuring that everyone is valued for their contributions, regardless of their identity. Through learning, maintaining clear policies, and a commitment to continuous improvement, we can put an end to wrongful terminations and create fair and respectful workplaces for everyone.

Key Takeaways

Awareness and Education: Promote awareness and education to empower employees to recognize and address workplace inequality and wrongful termination.

Legal Protections: Understand and advocate for legal protections against wrongful termination. Be aware of rights and seek legal advice if unfairly dismissed due to discrimination.

Transparent Policies: Establish and communicate transparent workplace policies emphasizing equality and non-discrimination. Include clear procedures for addressing grievances and reporting wrongful termination.

Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives: Actively promote diversity and inclusion initiatives for a more equitable workplace. This includes inclusive culture, diverse hiring, and equal opportunities for career advancement.

Support Networks: Build support networks within the workplace, such as employee resource groups or mentorship programs, to provide community and assistance for those facing discrimination or wrongful termination.

Continuous Monitoring and Improvement: Regularly monitor workplace practices, seek feedback, and make continuous efforts to address and rectify issues, contributing to a more equitable work environment.


What forms of wrongful termination?

Understand the criteria that define wrongful termination, such as discrimination based on race, gender, age, or other protected characteristics.

How can employees protect themselves from wrongful termination?

Learn about legal protections, document workplace incidents, and seek advice from human resources or legal professionals when necessary.

What steps should companies take to prevent wrongful termination?

Establish clear anti-discrimination policies, provide training, and create a culture that values diversity and inclusion.

Are there resources available for employees facing workplace discrimination?

Explore internal channels, employee help programs, and legal resources that can provide support and guidance.

How can coworkers and managers contribute to addressing workplace inequality?

Encourage open communication, be allies to those facing discrimination, and report any observed discriminatory practices to the appropriate channels.


Hi, I'm Alexander! I'm behind the scenes at, ensuring you get the best content possible. I decide what articles, stories, and other cool stuff make it onto the site, so you can count on me to keep things interesting!

Related Articles

Back to top button