Nearly 100,000 discrimination claims are filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission every year. Many of these cases involve well respected companies. Are victims of employment discrimination from these prestigious companies at a disadvantage?
A researcher from the Kellogg School, Brayden King, has been looking at how businesses are held accountable in society. He found interesting results on the effects of prestige within companies. One finding was that prestigious companies were more likely to be the target of activist groups, even when less prestigious companies acted worse. He believes that in this instance, prestige is harmful to organizations because it draws attention to their potential hypocrisy. They are likely targets to make sure they are living up to their reputations.
On the other hand, when looking at impacts of prestige among major league baseball pitchers, he found that the pitchers who had reputations for accurate pitches received more favorable calls from umpires.
Prestige Impacts the Outcome of Lawsuits
Brayden King and Mary Hunter Donald, a law school professor, recently finished a study examining whether prestigious employers had measurable differences in outcomes for employment discrimination law suits.
They first compiled data on 826 companies that were surveyed for Fortune’s Most Admirable Companies list between 1998 and 2008. The study defined low-prestige companies as those near the bottom of the rankings and high-prestige as those at the top of the rankings. They then used data from another source that ranked companies to their reputations regarding diversity and employee relations using the Statistical Tool for Analysis of Trends, developed by Kinder, Lydenberg, Domini & Co.
They used a third set of data listing employment discrimination cases that were considered by a jury. There were 519 cases involving the companies they had ranked according to prestige and reputation. Among these, 238 cases resulted in a verdict of liability and a subsequent damages award to the employee.
The researchers found that juries gave the benefit of the doubt to high-status organizations. Positive expectations associated with prestige made juries less likely to find these companies liable. Once a high-status organization was found liable, it was punished much more severely than low-status companies. In fact, juries awarded victims of high-status companies as much as three times more in punitive damages compared to low-status firms. The study concluded that high-status companies are held to a higher standard. When they act improperly, they are hypocritical, and penalized for it.
Montgomery County Employment Discrimination Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Advocate for Victims Harmed in the Workplace
If you have experienced discrimination in the workplace, you need the services of the Montgomery County employment discrimination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. We are not intimidated by high-prestige companies and will work to obtain the justice you deserve. Contact us online or call 215-569-1999 for a free consultation. We are centrally located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas.