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Effects of Workplace Discrimination


Though Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has helped to decrease the incidence of discrimination in the workplace, it does still exist. What is your discrimination policy doing for your bottom line? Here are a few effects that discrimination in the workplace could have an impact on your company.

Discrimination Is Bad for the Bottom Line

Though it may seem that the only repercussion to a company that engages in discrimination is a stinging lawsuit that may only be the tip of the iceberg. Studies demonstrate that workplace discrimination, even if simply perceived by the employees can negatively affect the company’s bottom line.

Discrimination in the workplace, whether real or simply perceived, can negatively impact three major components of an employee’s behavior that directly affect job performance including their organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and their organizational citizenship behavior.

Organization Commitment: An employee who has a positive organization commitment perceives his bond with the company as positive, which is related to employee loyalty and a higher likelihood to remain with the company.

Job Satisfaction: Job satisfaction is an employee’s measure of the positive emotional state resulting from assessment of overall job experience. Studies indicate that happy workers are profitable for the bottom line. Employees who report job satisfaction are more productive and are healthier than those that report job dissatisfaction.

Organization Citizenship Behavior: An employee who perceived discrimination may be less likely to engage in organization citizenship behavior, which refers to voluntary, informal coworker relationships and level of participation. In a healthy atmosphere, these positive relationships result in providing coworkers with advice and suggestion, helping finish projects, and offering positive feedback on work tasks.

Higher Incidence of Grievances

An employee who believes that there is discrimination within the company, whether it is committed by a coworker, supervisor, or the organizational policies is more likely to file grievances than an employee who is happy. Though grievances are a part of a company’s infrastructure and likely cannot be avoided completely, they do cost the company money in the time and energy required to address them.



Ensher, Ellen A
Effects of Perceived Discrimination on Job Satisfaction, Organization Commitment, Organizational Citizenship Behavior, and Grievances
Claremont Graduate University

International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Effect of job satisfaction on stress, performance and health in self-paced repetitive work
59.2 (1987): 115-121. Print.

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