Although there are many employment laws in place that prohibit racial discrimination, there is, unfortunately, no way to stop people from engaging in racist practices in the first place. What we can do is hold accountable the employers that either refuse to punish racist actions or that act in racist ways themselves. However, racism in the workplace is not obvious as it once was, and racial slurs and epithets have become less common. In order to help you identify racism in its more modern and insidious form, this article will review the five most common race discrimination practices in the workplace.
Direct racial discrimination refers to someone being put at a disadvantage or being treated unfairly because of their race. For example, an employer engaging in direct discrimination may tell an applicant of Asian ethnicity that they don’t want to work with Asian people. The same concept applies to someone being treated unfairly because they are perceived to be of a particular race, even if they aren’t; this is known as discrimination by perception.
While it may sound odd, a person does not need to be a member of a minority group in order to be racially discriminated against. Racial discrimination by association is a form of direct discrimination that occurs when an employee is being treated unfairly because of the race of someone they know. For example, an employer engaging in discrimination by association may treat an employee unfairly because of the race of their friends or partner.
Indirect racial discrimination occurs when a rule, policy, or workplace practice applies to all employees but may put one group at a disadvantage due to their race. For instance, if a dress code prohibits employees from wearing headwraps or headscarves, this would be considered indirect racial discrimination. This is because this particular work-wide policy puts people of certain ethnoreligious or cultural groups at a disadvantage.
Racial harassment is not limited to racist language, as it can occur whenever someone experiences unfavorable or unwanted behavior due to their race. In order to be considered harassment, the instance must have either violated one’s dignity or created a hostile workplace environment. Even if the aggressor didn’t mean for something to have a certain effect or had a specific intention that did not take place, the action can still be considered racial harassment.
Racial victimization is another form of direct discrimination that occurs when someone is treated unfairly or unfavorably due to their involvement (or believed involvement) in a past racial discrimination complaint. The victim may have made a claim, gathered evidence for a claim, or even supported someone else’s claim. If they are isolated, fired, or harassed as a result of their involvement, the aggressor is engaging in racial victimization.
Now that you know a little bit more about the most common race discrimination practices in the workplace, you’re better prepared to snuff out racism and hold aggressors accountable. If you’ve been a victim of any of these racist acts or practices, contact the Law Firm of Tamara N Holder today. We’ll put you in contact with one of our dedicated and experienced race discrimination attorneys so that you can start receiving the legal protection you deserve.