People spend a great part of their lives at their workplace, and getting injured is something that happens more often than anyone would like it to. In some cases, it happens because of inherent dangers that come with the job, while in others, workplace violence is involved. It has been observed that this affects women in different ways than men and that hiring a female attorney might be preferred in such cases.
It has been estimated that men are more likely to suffer workplace injuries, including fatal ones. According to a study performed by the US government, while approximately 5,000 males die during a workplace accident annually, the number is much lower for women, reaching 350 per year.
Age can also play a role. It is often observed that younger men are more likely to get injured compared with older men. That being said, some injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome are seen more often in females than in males. This may be due to the different types of jobs men and women are assigned respectively.
However, when looking at claims, the numbers can change. A claim can be made by a lawyer in any city, like an experienced personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, who will help the worker put their case forward. When examining the type of claim, it has been observed that while men are 1.4 times more likely to claim physical injury, women are 1.9 times more likely to make a claim related to mental health.
While men are more likely to work in heavy industry—an industry that involves one or more characteristics such as large and heavy products—when the percentage of men and women injured within this setting is examined, women have the worst of it. Another study performed in the US revealed that women are 1.3 times more likely to be injured while working in heavy industry jobs than men.
It has also been observed that women often get less compensation or benefits after a workplace injury. In some cases, as it happened in California, it was built in the law that “pre-existing conditions” could affect compensation. However, these pre-existing conditions were often used to deduct the compensation for women, while men are unaffected by this.
There are different types of workplace violence. One of the most common ones is criminal intent, in which a person external to the workplace wants to steal something or commit a robbery. This often ends up in a violent act in which a worker can get injured. A second type is perpetrated by a client or customer. This often takes place in the healthcare and social services setting, where women are more frequently employed than men. Therefore, they are more likely to get injured in this type of work.
The third type involves domestic violence, which is when someone related to a worker—usually the spouse—attacks the person at their place of work. This usually takes place when a separation is occurring and women are more usually targeted in this case. A lot of couples work together, as this might be how they met, and this can add further complications to injuries and violence that can occur.
A fourth type is worker to worker. It is often perpetrated by a disgruntled employee or someone who has been recently fired. Therefore, managers and supervisors are more frequently targeted. Another type of workplace violence is ideological violence. In this case, extremist groups are often involved and are usually standing against something the company is doing as part of its business model.
Last but not least, sexual harassment is another type of workplace violence. There are two subtypes called quid pro quo and hostile work environment. A quid pro quo situation is when a victim is propositioned in exchange for a promotion, a salary increase, or simply, not getting fired. Meanwhile, a hostile work environment involves a situation in which exclusion from work activities or sexual jokes might be involved.
Approximately 70 per cent of victims of workplace assault are women, showing an outstanding gender disparity. Furthermore, these numbers seem to be rising.
A study that followed workplace violence claims for 13 years showed that the number of incidents increases by 2,5 per cent every year. Furthermore, a 2017 study revealed that there was a 60 per cent increase in workplace violence against women compared to 2011. This could be because people are becoming more likely to speak out against this form of abuse, but either way, it is an issue that women face far more than men on a day-to-day basis.
When hiring an attorney, women are more likely to look for a woman who will represent them. One of the reasons for this is that women tend to be more empathetic and understanding of the circumstances. Where a man might disregard a concern, a woman might be able to see the validity of a claim. Women may have more empathy for the situation a claimant finds themself in.
Also, women are usually less combative, which can help when the case is presented to a jury. In addition, a female lawyer might be regarded as warmer and more likable, making the jury feel as if they are engaging with a female family member.
Minorities tend to be more victimised by the legal system and workplace injury claims are no exception to this rule. The process to calculate compensation usually involves an estimate of future earnings, and this estimate tends to be higher for white men than for women and even more so for black women.
However, this is something that’s being fought all over the country, and a fact a good lawyer should keep in mind at the time of introducing a claim. In an era in which protests regarding race issues have shaken the US as well as the rest of the world, these matters are gaining more visibility. That said, it is necessary to take a closer look at legislation and the current system to address these gaps in compensation that clearly affect minorities. it’s about time both women and ethnic minorities were treated with equality.
The first day of my new office job comes around. Swapping the extremities of dingey bars in Peckham for the windowless haunt in Whitechapel is a drastic change. Waking with the rest of London to head to my office gig, travelcard purchased in a new non-offensive t-shirt. I squeeze into the overground, ready and excited. A stable wage and hours is something I’ve daydreamed about while pouring lukewarm pints of Amstel in dark corners of SE15.
Stepping into the east London office, the prospect of what’s to come is almost overwhelming. This air of excitement and hope falters as the reality of my co-workers comes to light. The white Kanye West fan drops the n-word casually on a day to day basis and the greying Aussie specialises in homophobic slurs before lunch. Men old enough to know better talk to me about my ‘bush’ and sniffing other women’s knickers. This all seems to come to a humorous head when I’m asked if “LGBTQ is a type of sandwich?”
Generation Z, as we’re described, is the fully digital generation. Born from 1995 onwards, we’ve grown up alongside the housing crisis’, a recession, polarising politics—all of which were documented on our iPhones. Not only are we tech-savvy, we’re also queer as fuck. With only 48 per cent of generation Zers identifying as straight, this is the smallest percentage of heterosexuality ever recorded. This alone should be cause for celebration and triumph by our stonewall predecessors. However, we aren’t at the identity politics utopia, yet.
In 2019, research published on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia about sexual harassment in the workplace showed that 70 per cent of LGBTQ people endured harassment at work. My prediction is that as more young people from the community enter the workforce, these numbers will continue to increase. Arguably, this is the biggest cultural disparity between generations in the UK right now. Not everyone suffering from workplace harassment is queer and under 30, and not everyone harassing colleagues is straight and over 40. However, statistics indicate that these are the two groups most likely to be the victim and perpetrator of harassment. Identifying how workplace harassment has changed is instrumental in this discussion.
Workplace harassment has evolved from macro to microaggressions. Whereas my mother has stories about men biting her arse by the photocopier, my incidents may share the same backdrop but are more subtle. With culture and expression accelerating rapidly, the disconnect between generations is understandable. It is the common consensus that one should not sink their teeth into a female coworker’s arse, but, at the same time, we are still learning collectively of the dangers of microaggressions. Although these microaggressions are not considered to be as outrightly offensive, they still perform in the same way as macroaggressions and isolate and hurt the group or individual they are targeted at.
To stop this kind of behaviour, we have to change collective education. The fear of the unknown is often at the heart of prejudice. Offering educational programmes could improve understanding and therefore reduce these workplace incidents.
Different organisations are helping to change wider society’s understanding of marginalised groups. One of these organisations is Gendered Intelligence (GI), a charity whose mission is to understand gender diversity. Established in 2008 as a community interest group, GI offers services including support services for young trans people under 21, while also delivering educational programmes to universities, schools and workplaces. Screen Shot spoke to the charity’s spokesperson about its workplace programmes.
“When it comes to the training we deliver for professional settings, it’s often someone from HR who reaches out to us,” they said. “Sometimes this is in response to someone in the organisation coming out as trans, or on the flip side, it could be in response to transphobia or lack of knowledge around trans matters. Often, ‘trans awareness training’ is seen simply as a necessary part of the fuller equality, diversity and inclusion package that workplaces are keener than ever to showcase.”
But has GI’s work impacted the mainstream working sector? It seems so, “We recently delivered our 1000th training session on trans awareness, which is a mega achievement for a grassroots organisation (now charity) that started as an art project 10 years ago.” As GI became bigger, so did the demand for factual, straight-from-the-horse’s-mouth knowledge about trans people in the wider working sector. The feedback the organisation receives from clients shows that the impact it is having is deep and meaningful, and that people are leaving the sessions knowing a bit more about an often invisible or maligned part of society. “We know that this increased knowledge and visibility has made it easier for trans and non-binary people to come out at work, to be visible and respected for who they are, across the board. At the end of the day, if GI has made even one workplace more trans-friendly and enabled someone to come out and be accepted at work, the thousand sessions have been worth it,” explains the charity’s spokesperson.
With the training programmes GI offers, does it believe there should be steps towards making this mandatory in our society? “It’d be easy to rest on our laurels and think that transphobia will simply dissipate with time, but we’re seeing time and time again that hate crimes against trans and other LGBTQ+ people are on the rise in the UK. We need to be taking active steps towards ensuring that workplaces are following through on their legal duties to protect people from discrimination. We need to be particularly aware that trans people are often excluded from or ejected from the workplace simply for being trans, so we won’t stop our work until everyone is equal in this respect.” said GI’s spokesperson.
Positive change is happening through the help organisations like GI offer. Tackling transphobia in the workplace is just one issue among many, but GI’s work will continue to be a catalyst for change as it helps to bridge gaps between generations and make all aspects of work accessible. For now, patience is essential, but hopefully soon—not as thick a skin.