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How does racial discrimination happen in the workplace?

On Behalf of | May 3, 2022 | Employment Law |

A hostile workplace makes for an unhappy and unproductive employee. Unfortunately, employee discrimination is a common problem in most workplaces throughout the U.S. One of the most common forms of discrimination in the workplace is racial discrimination.

Racial discrimination happens when an employee is treated differently from the other team members based on their actual or perceived race. Racial discrimination also occurs when the employee is treated differently based on their association with team members of another race. It is important to understand that both state and federal laws prohibit all forms of racial discrimination in the workplace.

Here are the different forms of discrimination that you need to look out for in the workplace.

Direct racial discrimination

Direct discrimination happens when an employee is treated less favorably in the workplace based on their race. Direct discrimination can be intentional or unintentional. Sometimes, an employee can be discriminated against because they are associated with an individual of a different race. This is known as direct discrimination by association. At other times, an individual can be discriminated against because they are perceived to belong to a certain race when they do not. This is known as direct discrimination by perception.

Indirect racial discrimination

Indirect discrimination can be a bit difficult to detect from the onset. That said, this form of racial discrimination happens when the organization has policies that affect certain employees based on their race. In other words, an employer can “mistakenly” discriminate against some employees on account of the rules and regulations in place.

Victimization based on race

It is not uncommon for an employee to be victimized in the workplace on account of their race. This happens when an employee becomes a victim of harmful behavior thanks to their race. Examples of victimization would include:

  • Unfair dismissal from work
  • Subjecting the employee to unfavorable work conditions
  • Reducing the employee’s work hours as a punishment

While every employee deserves a just and fair workplace, this is not always the case. Find out how you can protect your rights if you become a victim of racial discrimination in the workplace.

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