The psycho-legal concept of “rights apathy” is developed in

this Essay as an underlying factor of the very low rate of

incidence of workplace discrimination lawsuits filed in China,

despite an increasingly elaborate legal framework “on paper”

and workers’ rising awareness of their legal rights under

anti-discrimination laws. “Rights apathy” is underpinned by the

notions of “frustration” and “learned helplessness,” depicting the

indifference of workers in exercising their legal rights before a

tribunal or court. A number of institutional problems, namely

defects in existing anti-discrimination provisions, judicial

practices, and contradictions in other laws, policies, and

practices, can contribute to the “rights apathy” of workers

experiencing discrimination in the workplace.