First appeared on technorati
Race discrimination at the workplace is treating employees differently because of their race, color, or ethnic origin. People that have been rejected for employment, held from promotion, fired or otherwise harmed in their workplace because of race, then may have suffered race discrimination.
Here are some simplified examples of potentially illegal race discrimination:
• Job Classification: At your workplace your responsibilities have increased over time, but your job classification and pay has remained the same, other colleagues at your same level of employment from a different race have their job classification and pay adjusted to reflect their increased responsibilities.
• Hiring/ Firing/ Promotions:
1- You apply for a job for which you have experience and excellent qualifications, but you are not hired because some of the company’s long-time clients are not comfortable dealing with descendants of a particular race that you belong to.
2- You are told that you are being laid off due to company cutbacks and reorganization, while other employees with the same job and with less seniority than you keep their jobs.
3- You have worked for your company for several years, receiving exemplary reviews and an employee-of-the-year award, yet each of the five times you have applied for promotions, the positions you applied for are instead filled by less qualified people of a different race.
• Pay: You worked your way up to a higher position, a project manager with similar training and work experience was recently hired, and you find out that he will be paid more than you. You are a top salesperson for your company, but are moved to a less desirable territory because it is a minority neighborhood, while another employee with much lower sales is given your territory and client base, enabling him to make much more in commissions than you will make for several years.
• Harassment: One of your coworkers thinks it’s “funny” to use the slurs and racial jokes in conversation; these comments make you very uncomfortable, and you’ve asked him to stop, but he tells you that you need to get a sense of humor; the boss tells you to ignore him, but doesn’t talk to or discipline your coworker for his harassing behavior
Some employees experiencing race discrimination may also experience other forms of illegal discrimination as well, such as age, sex, or disability discrimination. Discrimination against African-American males may be illegal even if an employer does not discriminate against African-American females.
Federal law prohibits basing employment decisions on stereotypes and assumptions about abilities, traits, or the performance of individuals of certain racial groups. It makes illegal both intentional discrimination as well as job policies that appeal neutral but in fact are not job-related and disproportionately harm workers of certain races or disabilities.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (and its amendments) is a federal law that protects individuals from discrimination in employment based on race. Title VII makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against individuals because of their race in hiring, firing, and other terms and conditions of employment, such as promotions, raises, and other job opportunities.
The laws of most states also prohibit discrimination based on race. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the agency of the federal government responsible for investigating charges of job discrimination relating to race discrimination in workplaces of 15 or more employees. Most states have their own agencies that enforce state laws against discrimination.
Victims of race discrimination can recover remedies that include:
• Back pay
• Front pay
• Damages as (emotional pain and suffering)
• Punitive damages (damages to punish the employer)
• Other actions if needed to level the field for the person discriminated against as if the discrimination had never occurred.
Remedies also may include payment of:
• Court, and attorneys’ fees
• Expert witness fees
An employer may be required to post notices to all employees addressing the violations of a specific charge and advising them of their right to be free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. If necessary, such notices must be accessible to persons with visual or other disabilities that affect reading.
The employer also may be required to take corrective or preventive actions with regard to the person(s) responsible for the discrimination, take steps to minimize the chance it will happen again, as well as stop the specific discriminatory practices in the case. Your state law may allow for greater or different remedies.
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Sahar Andrade, MB.BCh
Diversity Consultant – Social Media Strategist
Sahar Consulting, LLC. – Home of the D.I.A.L.O.G.™ Programs
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