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Chronic stress caused by workplace discrimination

It may come as no surprise to those who have experienced some type of workplace discrimination in the past, but science now confirms what most people already knew -- being discriminated against is stressful. While some people in Massachusetts and indeed across the rest of the United States insist that workplace discrimination is no longer a real concern, the data does not lie. Workers are still being discriminated against, and it is having real and profound effects on their lives.

The American Psychological Association conducted a study that revealed an astounding 69 percent of adults in America have at one point in time felt as if they were discriminated against at work. Even though the issue is so widespread, one expert on the matter notes that addressing discrimination is still incredibly difficult as it often occurs in situations where a manager is one on one with an employee. This type of continual discrimination contributes to chronic stress.

Chronic stress differs from stress -- an otherwise common life experience -- that comes and goes. Once stress is a chronic and recurring theme in a person's life, it can manifest in physical and emotional turmoil. Many black adult workers admit that they feel the need to completely change their outward appearance in the mere hopes of avoiding discrimination, while 43 percent of Native American adults state that they both speak and act extremely carefully in the work place. For the Hispanic community, 31 percent feel the same way.

Workplace discrimination does much more than hamper a person's ability to maintain gainful employment and move forward in their career. Experiencing discrimination in a place of work contributes to high levels of stress that affect a person's overall health and well-being. Massachusetts workers do not have to suffer needlessly, and those who have been wrongly discriminated against have the right to take action against their employer.

Source:, "Discrimination in workplace linked to stress", Melany Mejias, March 14, 2016

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