Both federal and state laws prohibit harassment and discrimination in the workplace based on race. Unfortunately, racial discrimination is still the reality for a number of workers in Boston, leading to undue stress, depression, or difficulties in professional advancement.
At HKM Employment Attorneys, we can help seek fair and equal treatment in the workplace. We have years of experience in employment discrimination law, helping our clients deal with issues of race, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability disputes. Let us put that knowledge and expertise to work for you.
What is Race Discrimination?
Racial discrimination is described as any unfavorable treatment against any employee or job applicant based on their race or characteristics such as hair texture and skin color that are associated with race.
It can also include discrimination because of an applicant or employee’s relationship with someone of a particular racial group. For example, if an employee is married to or friends with people of a different race, they may experience racial discrimination in the workplace.
You should also note that it still qualifies as racial discrimination if you share the same race as the person creating a hostile work environment.
Examples of Race Discrimination in the Workplace
Ali is a Muslim worker from Egypt working in a local manufacturing company. His supervisor is always commenting on his looks and frequently asking invasive and derogatory questions about Islamic customs. As time passes by, Ali starts finding his workplace unbearable, intimidating, and hostile.
Racial harassment extends to more than insulting remarks and behavior. It may include unwarranted interrogations about a person’s race, especially when the behavior violates their dignity, thus creating an offensive environment for them to work in.
Jane Doe, an African-American woman, decides to file a harassment claim after her colleagues make multiple derogatory comments about her hair and appearance. Before and after the hearing, most of her colleagues stop talking to her and the line manager puts her on probation.
Victimization constitutes direct racial discrimination. Jane is being retaliated against and punished for defending herself from any racial harassment.
Discrimination by Association
Harvey, a white American man, is an excellent employee. He delivers his work on time and in order. Harvey drives sales and recently turned around an almost dead department. He recently submitted his application for a promotion at his workplace.
However, he is married to a woman of African descent. Upon learning this, the executives at his firm decide that Harvey may not be the best for the position.
Sometimes, people don’t get racially discriminated against because of their race, but by who they associate with outside the office. In these instances, a racial discrimination lawyer can help you gather evidence and witness statements to show that your mistreatment is related to your relationships outside of the office.
Examples of Indirect Race Discrimination
Before we get into examples of indirect discrimination, we need to define what it is. The Equality Act 2010 describes indirect discrimination as treating everyone the same way without realizing that this treatment bears a rather unfortunate disadvantage on other individuals due to their race or ethnicity.
For example, a business in Boston has a dress code for their office that states employees cannot wear their hair in afros, cornrows, or braided styles. While technically this rule applies to all employees, it disproportionately affects those of African descent who are more likely to wear these styles.
The business may try to present a good reason why this policy is in place in order to claim it’s not discriminatory. But a lawyer who is familiar with race discrimination cases can help you gather the evidence needed to show why this policy is unfair.
Is It Illegal to Discriminate Based on Race?
According to Title VII of The Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers are prohibited from any form of discrimination based on race, national origin, ethnicity, skin color, sex, or religion. It is, therefore, illegal for an employer to discriminate against any employee or applicant based on their race.
Why Choose HKM Employment Attorneys of Boston?
If you or someone you love is dealing with racial discrimination from an employer, schedule a meeting with our discrimination lawyers. The legal representatives at our HKM Employment Attorneys law firm have several years of experience representing clients in every aspect of employment law. We can use that knowledge to help you fight for fair treatment and compensation. Get started today with a free initial consultation.