Race discrimination in the workplace is quite serious. It is always wrong and not justifiable, especially by an employer. As an employee, you have the right to work in an environment that is free from harassment or race discrimination. You are entitled to be free from unequal or unfair treatment simply because of your race.
Race Discrimination Overview
Race discrimination is any unfair or unequal treatment against a person because he or she is of a particular race. It can be due to words or actions of your employer or even your coworkers. Every employer must follow the law and ensure that the workplace is free from race discrimination.
Employers are not allowed to hire or fire their employees because they are of a particular race. It is unlawful for them to even identify an employee by his or her race.
Employers are not allowed to compensate employees differently or apply different conditions of employment because of race. They can only treat employees differently when there is a merit system or on the basis of seniority.
How Can You Identify Race Discrimination?
Race discrimination can be direct or indirect. If it involves insults, crude jokes or pranks that are meant to make you feel bad because of your race, then it is direct. If you are constantly being denied benefits to which you are entitled when others of different races who are not as qualified as you are getting them, you may be a victim of indirect race discrimination.
Race discrimination can also be on the basis of disparate treatment or disparate impact. Disparate treatment simply means a person of a particular race is treated differently from persons of other races. Disparate impact means that the employer has policies or has made decisions that affect persons of a particular race more than others.
Examples of Race Discrimination
The following are some common examples of race discrimination:
- Unequal hiring practices that prioritize people of one race over others can be discriminatory
- Unequal firing practices can also be discriminatory if some people of a particular race are preferred for discharge over others
- Considering persons of a particular race first or last in promotion exercises
- Having unequal pay regimes for persons of different race
- Race harassment. Jokes about a person’s race, rude comments or cartoons can amount to harassment.
You need to keep in mind that it may not always be obvious that you are being racially discriminated against. If you feel you are experiencing discriminatory behavior in your workplace but are not sure if it is race discrimination, you need to talk to a lawyer who can help you make sense of what you are experiencing.
If you have been a victim of race discrimination in any form from your coworkers, make sure to lodge a complaint with your employer. If your employer refuses to answer your complaint or if you feel that he or she has not done enough to stop the discrimination, you need to speak with a lawyer to discuss the best path forward.
Contact a Race Discrimination Lawyer in Kansas City Today
If you believe you were discriminated against as a result of your racial background by your employer, or while you were applying for a new position, take action today and contact HKM Employment Attorneys. We are here to help.