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Despite years of effort to end prohibited discrimination in the workplace, discrimination based on race and gender continues to be a problem in California and around the country. A major issue is that such discrimination may be covert and difficult to prove, despite the fact that it is so prevalent.

As race relation issues in general have dominated the media, people of color continue to experience it at work despite the focus on the problem in the news. According to a recent poll conducted by CNN and the Kaiser Family Foundation, 57 percent of Hispanic people and 69 percent of African Americans report that discrimination is a major issue affecting them.

Minority women face issues of race compounded by gender discrimination as well. For women who are black and who work in scientific fields, 77 percent reported having to present more evidence of their competence than their male peers, while 66 percent of women overall reported the same. Women of color also face pressure to behave in a more feminine manner, with 41 percent of Asian women reporting that type of pressure and 60 percent of Hispanic women reporting they constantly battle stereotypes of being hot-tempered.

Workplace discrimination can be insidious, poisoning the entire culture of a company. People who experience negative job actions due to their protected status may want to seek help from an employment law attorney. An attorney may be better-equipped to gather the evidence needed to demonstrate the negative actions resulted because of discrimination rather than due to something else. Many employers will try to claim that their actions were due to poor performance, when in reality, they were instead due to prohibited discriminatory bias. As there are strict statutory deadlines for bringing discrimination complaints, it may be important to seek legal help as soon as the person is aware of the discriminatory action.

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