Mobilizing Equal Employment Rights: The Social and Political Determinants of Discrimination Complaints (2009–2018) in Sociological Quarterly


This article explores the regional and national determinants of workplace discrimination complaints across the US states from 2009–2018. Drawing on the EEOC charge data supplemented with a number of additional data sources, the authors examine the extent to which socioeconomic, demographic, and political environments explain variation in the rate of total, race, and sex-based employment discrimination charges. Building on the neoinstitutional and power resource theories, the authors examine the role of social-structural factors as important determinants of workplace discrimination charges across US states. In fixed-effects regressions, the authors find evidence that union density and collective bargaining, democratic partisanship in legislatures, and demographic composition at the state level and contentious politics and economic inequalities at the national level are important determinants of workplace discrimination claims.

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