The United States of America is known throughout the world for being a melting pot of cultures, religions and traditions from other nations. Despite the diversity present in the modern American workplace, however, discrimination issues may still arise in the hiring and interview process as well as on the job. All types of discrimination based on ethnicity, race, and cultural representation are illegal under the Washington State Freedom from Discrimination law, RCW 49.60.030.
If you have experienced ethnicity-based pr any other type of discrimination in your workplace, contact an experienced employment attorney at our firm. Our team at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP is committed to helping all working people in Washington state enjoy fair, hostility-free workplaces.
Types of Ethnic Discrimination
There are various ways employees might feel discriminated against in the workplace. Any action taken by a colleague or supervisor that targets an individual’s race or ethnicity and by extension in some cases, religion, meant to threaten or otherwise make the individual uncomfortable may be considered to be ethnic discrimination.
Harassment is a broad term that covers a wide range of discriminatory behaviors. Any ethnic slurs, disparaging language, jokes, inappropriate physical contact, or association with certain groups or behaviors based on one’s race or ethnicity are forms of harassment.
Paying an employee less money or fewer benefits than an identically-qualified employee because of the former’s race or ethnicity is a form of discrimination.
Refusing to hire a qualified candidate for a position because of his or her race or ethnicity is also a form of ethnic discrimination. Similarly, passing up a qualified employee for a promotion because of his or her ethnicity is discrimination and prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Employees have the right to file discrimination lawsuits if they feel they’ve been treated unfairly by employers because of their race, national origin or ethnicity. The best way for employers to avoid ethnic discrimination among their staff is to have a written set of rules regarding the fair treatment of employees and the penalties for violating those rules.
Refusal to accommodate an employee’s reasonable religious needs may fall into the realm of ethnic discrimination. Examples of religious accommodations are allowing a female Muslim employee to wear a hijab with her work uniform or allowing a Catholic employee to leave work early on Good Friday to attend Mass.
Religious discrimination can also occur separately from ethnic discrimination. In some cases, an employee may be targeted only for his or her religion, rather than both his or her religion and his or her ethnicity.
Ethnic Discrimination Attorneys Can Help
If you have experienced any form of ethnic discrimination in your workplace, call HKM Employment Attorneys LLP at 206-838-2504 for help and legal counsel. Our attorneys understand employment law in Washington and will help you develop the best course of action for your case. You have the right to a hostility-free workplace. If this right has been threatened, our team of compassionate attorneys can help you make things right.