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What should you know about racial discrimination at work?

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2023 | Employment Discrimination

Employers in the United States must ensure that discrimination and harassment aren’t present in the workplace. Racial and national origin discrimination are two problem areas for some companies, but this doesn’t mean that workers have to sit back and deal with illegal behavior.

There are many ways that employees can be discriminated against. It doesn’t matter how seemingly minor or major the discrimination is, the employer should address it appropriately. Serious problems, those that occur more than once and anything that makes the workplace hostile are unlawful and require immediate action.

Discriminatory actions

Anything negative conduct that’s based on where a person was born, what race they are or characteristics of a race or national origin amounts to discrimination. This can include an employer failing to hire someone because of their skin color. It includes telling a person to change an ethnic hairstyle. Termination, failure to promote and other adverse disciplinary actions are discrimination. The key point of consideration under such circumstances is whether a person of another race would face the same types of actions if they were in the same position.

Protection from application to termination

Discrimination protection isn’t applicable only to employees. It also includes applicants at a company. It’s against the law for employers to discriminate against anyone due to their appearance, race or national origin during the hiring process, employment term and termination. Discrimination can also occur during daily work activities if the person is harassed or made fun of because of their immutable, protected characteristics.

Other people’s actions can be discriminatory

Employers must ensure that customers, clients and vendors don’t discriminate against employees. This includes everything from making offhand remarks about a person’s race or national origin to blatantly harassing the person because of those aspects of their identity.

Employees who feel they have been discriminated against because of their race, color or national origin should ensure they learn their options for handling these legal matters. These are very serious circumstances that must never be left unaddressed. Working with a legal professional who’s familiar with these matters is generally a good idea, given the complexities of this area of law and the high stakes of the situation in question.