Discrimination in the Workplace Causes Toll on Mental and Physical Health

Photo of discrimination definitionThe broad social costs of discrimination and racial bias have been clear for a long time, but what about the physical and psychological costs to the individual? Recent research has shown that discrimination in the workplace, school, or other areas of life can have a powerful effect on someone’s emotional and physical well-being.

Cortisol is a stress hormone that is produced by the body and regulates important systems such as the immune system and cardiovascular system. An increase in cortisol levels can cause people to be more susceptible to disease and experience higher levels of stress and stress-related heart problems. A recent University of Michigan study found that African-Americans who have reported feeling discrimination see an increase in cortisol levels in the evening. Likewise, another study published in the scientific journal Hormones and Behavior saw increased daytime levels of cortisol in young Hispanics who had reported feeling discriminated against based on their ethnicity.

What Can I Do About Discrimination in the Workplace?

As we have seen, discrimination in any setting, especially the workplace, can create an intolerable situation. If you have experienced discrimination in the workplace based on your race or ethnicity, you may be wondering if there is anything you can do about it. A qualified California employment law attorney may be able to help. If you’d like to know more about our California labor law attorneys, find us on Facebook or Twitter, and check back in to our regularly updated employment law blog.

Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys