Dealing With Race Discrimination | Know Employer’s Accountability & Your Rights

Race discrimination is not something new, it’s been an issue for centuries. Fortunately, in today’s time, laws have been established to fight against this concern. Do you know that being discriminated against because of your race in the workplace is a criminal offense?

Monster’s poll revealed that 45% of employees are not familiar with their company’s policies regarding workplace discrimination.

However, it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that in their workplace, equality and a healthy cultural environment are practiced by avoiding vices like racism. If they are unable to do so, the employees can rely upon strict laws against racial discrimination that have been imposed to protect the sufferers. If you are new to this term and have no idea about employers’ responsibilities and your rights, we are here to guide you through the process.

What is racial discrimination?

When individuals are discriminated against on the basis of their race, color, descent, nationality, or ethnicity, it is called racial discrimination. The term “race” includes 3 key factors:

Color discrimination is based on the person’s skin shade, i.e., black or white. 

Nationality refers to the country one belongs to based on information in their passport, which can differ from their national origin.

Ethnic or national origins refer to an individual’s cultural background or it is the place someone or their family is from, such as being from Mexico, China, Nigeria, or Germany.

Different types of racial discrimination at work

Any type of discrimination at the workplace can negatively affect the employees or create a hostile or unfair work environment. Here are some types of racial discrimination which can be faced by anyone:

  • Direct discrimination

When a person possesses the required skills, education, and other abilities to qualify for a job but still gets rejected or treated less favorably by the company because of his/her looks or nationality, it is considered direct discrimination.

  • Indirect discrimination

When a practice, policy, or rule applies to all individuals but places a particular person or group at a disadvantage due to their race.

  • Harassment

When someone makes derogatory comments, tells jokes, or engages in actions that make the employees uncomfortable due to their race, it is considered racial harassment.

  • Victimisation

Victimization is an act of mistreating or punishing an individual who stands up against discrimination. If an employee experiences retaliation, such as being demoted or fired after filing a complaint about race discrimination at work, it is considered victimization. 

  • Termination

It means that employees are fired from their jobs based on their race instead of their job performance.

  • Compensation Disparities

Racial discrimination can result in differential payment for employees of different races, even if the employees perform similar job duties and possess equivalent qualifications.

Employer’s responsibilities to prevent racial discrimination

  • Equal Pay

57% of black Americans have faced discrimination in terms of pay and promotions, as reported by Monster Poll.

Employees must reject the idea of paying employees of different races differently for the same work. By creating an inclusive workplace culture and practicing fairness in salary structures, employers can show their commitment to promoting equity and combatting racial discrimination.

  • Conduct Regular Audits and Assessments

To ensure that all employees are treated fairly, it’s important to regularly review and check the company’s policies, practices, and culture for potential racial discrimination or bias. Audits can be conducted to identify any systemic issues and inform necessary changes and improvements.

  • Keep Medical and Genetic Information Private

To protect employee privacy, asking for medical or genetic information should be prohibited. If such information is legally obtained from candidates or staff members, it must be kept confidential.

  • Posting Regarding Discrimination Laws

Display a poster that describes federal employment discrimination laws to help create awareness for an inclusive environment and show commitment to promoting diversity and equality.

  • Providing Training and Education: 

Organize regular training sessions for employees to increase their knowledge on matters related to racial discrimination, cultural sensitivity, and unconscious bias. During the training, special attention should be given to the significance of treating all individuals with respect and fairness, without any discrimination based on their race or ethnicity.

  • Establishing Reporting and Resolution Procedures: 

Employers should establish transparent procedures for reporting incidents related to racial discrimination and ensure that their employees are comfortable and supported while raising their grievances. This can be achieved by implementing a confidential reporting system and assigning trained candidates to handle complaints accurately and impartially.

How To Deal With Race Discrimination At Work

  • Document Incidents 

Every employee should keep detailed records of any instances of racial discrimination, including dates, times, witnesses, and specific details of what happened.

  • Report Discrimination 

Report any discrimination to your employer or HR department by following the company’s procedures. Provide them with all documented evidence.

  • File a Complaint

If a staff member is dissatisfied with the internal solutions, consider submitting a formal complaint to the relevant government agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the state’s Fair Employment Practices agency, or take the help of a Racial discrimination lawyer.

  • Seek Mediation

If an employee has a problem with the employer, there are ways to resolve it without going to court. Mediation or alternative dispute resolution can help. A neutral third party can help an employee and employer talk and come up with a solution that works for both.

  • Seek Support

It is important to prioritize mental and emotional health when facing discrimination. Asking for professional support, such as therapy or counselling, can also be beneficial and provide the help you need.

  • Stay Informed 

Make sure to be aware of any updates on the case and persist in advocating throughout the process. It is important to keep a record of all communications and interactions related to the discrimination.

Need assistance?

The blog has clarified many aspects associated with racial discrimination. If you are still confused about how to handle your discrimination problems effectively, contact Accident Defenders for help. Our lawyers will assist you tackle even discrimination and avail of your rights!

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