Race Discrimination in the Workplace
In this day and age, we’d like to believe that race discrimination no longer is an issue in businesses and companies. Unfortunately this is not the case. Despite it being illegal, race discrimination can still be found in the workplace. Sometimes individuals may not even be aware they are the victim of race discrimination. Employers may not intentionally be discriminating against someone because of their race, but if in cases of passing over certain employees for advancement, wrongful termination or other issue, this can be the underlying situation.
Per Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964, individuals are protected against employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex and religion. Opportunities cannot be denied to an employee because of their race, perceived race, hair color, skin color, facial features or because of their marriage or association with someone of a particular race. An individual’s ability to perform their duties is not related to race, and never has been.
If you feel you are the victim of race discrimination in your workplace, you need to contact a Washington employment law attorney from HKM Employment Attorneys without delay. The attorneys at our firm have over 40 years combined experience dealing with all aspects of employment law. We know what it takes to fight employment discrimination and we are here to represent you so your rights are protected and justice is served.
Washington Laws Against Discrimination
In the state of Washington, discrimination is prohibited in realms such as employment, service, housing, and credit transactions under the Washington Law Against Discrimination, otherwise known as WLAD. This law is the primary state law regulating discrimination for Washington employees, and the law specifically prohibits any type of discriminatory treatment or harassment of employees due to race. The law also prohibits discrimination based on race-related factors such as color and national origin.
WLAD is not the only law meant to prevent race discrimination in the workplace. Another Washington statute also prohibit any employer or licensing agency from asking any questions on application for jobs or licenses regarding an applicant’s race. Furthermore, once a professional license is received, the license may not disclose in any form the race of the license holder. Any person or employer who violates this particular law may be held criminally liable and found guilty of a misdemeanor.
Another Washington law prohibits malicious harassment on the basis of race in any environment, including the workplace. Acts of malicious harassment can include physical injury, damage or destruction of property, or communication of threats that place an employee or group of employees in fear of physical harm. A person found guilty of malicious harassment will be found guilty of a Class C Felony, an offense punishable by up to five years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000. As you can see, the state of Washington takes race discrimination and harassment very seriously.
How Race Discrimination Can Affect Employment
Race discrimination can impact almost any aspect of a person’s employment. Some of the areas that may be impacted include:
- Advertisements for job applicants
- Job training
- Job classification
- Promotions or transfers
- Benefits and wages
- Discipline or discharge
It may be as simple as one employee getting better benefits or wages than another employee, despite them having the same job classification. Or perhaps one employee being told certain opportunities don’t exist, despite another employee (at the same level) being given access to such opportunities. Regardless of whether the race discrimination is intentional or not, it is illegal. It also can open the door to harassment and a hostile work environment, a separate violation that is often associated with race discrimination cases. Victims of race, or any type of discrimination, should consult with a knowledgeable employment attorney at once.