Of all the different forms of discrimination and harassment that can happen in the workplace, among the most sensitive and contentious are those situations involving one’s race. These can take place in many different ways and can range from subtle and passively aggressive to outright confrontational. While we have come a long way as a society over the years, there are sadly still far too many of these racist occurrences in workplaces today.
Racial discrimination is typically a situation where someone receives unfair treatment due to his or her race or because of certain personal traits that are often directly related to one’s race. These traits can potentially include skin color, hairstyle and texture, the way people talk and communicate, and much more. This form of discrimination can also take place due to the race and color of one’s spouse, partner, close friends or anyone with whom you associate in the workplace.
Specific racially discriminatory actions in the workplace
There are many ways that your employer can not use race as a means to discriminate against an employee or to provide favorable treatment to others. These include the following and much more:
- Hiring decisions
- Pay rates and pay raises
- Promotion decisions
- Specific job assignments
- Any type of employee training or benefits
- Demotions, layoffs, and termination decisions
Even some instances where a specific company policy, practice or guideline applies to all workers regardless of race can still result in discrimination. These situations occur when something that is irrelevant to how the business operates and is not specifically related to a certain job disproportionately affects employees of a particular race. Examples could include employee policies prohibiting tattoos or dreadlocks, assuming that neither would affect employees’ ability to perform their job duties.
Specific forms of racial harassment in the workplace
Racial harassment can also come in many different forms and vary greatly in its severity. The most common and obvious of these include racial slurs, the displaying of propaganda and symbols that are racially insensitive and offensive, and derogatory comments regarding one’s color or race. Even the most subtle of instances, however, can still violate the law if they create a hostile work setting or cause someone to make an unfavorable decision regarding your employment.
If you are a victim to any form of racial discrimination and harassment at your place of work, you have the right to explore your legal options and pursue justice for this wrongdoing.