Ethnic discrimination has now reached a level not seen since the civil rights era. The hate crime rate is rising every month across the country, as well, with countless mosques burned or vandalized and people of middle eastern ethnicity facing threats on the street and at the workplace. It is no wonder that employers are guilty of bringing their racist views to the workplace when 41% of Americans believe that Islam encourages violence more so than other religions and 44% of Americans believe that there is a fundamental conflict between Islam and democracy, according to the Pew Research Center. These numbers represent U.S. views before the 2016 presidential election, and therefore likely underrepresent the growing anti-Islamic beliefs in the U.S.
However, in the United States, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate based on an employee’s ethnicity or perceived ethnicity. If you have been the victim of ethnic discrimination at your place of work, or were discriminated against before you were even hired, you need to contact an attorney at once.
What is Discrimination?
Ethnic and racial discrimination are prohibited under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as well as Missouri state law, per the Missouri Human Rights Act. The Act protects employees from unfair or unfavorable employer behavior or actions, such as:
- Not hiring due to ethnicity;
- Not promoting or giving a raise due to ethnicity;
- Firing due to ethnicity;
- Failure to provide benefits due to ethnicity;
- Retaliating due to an employee’s complaint or lawsuit against an employer due to ethnic discrimination; and
- Other negative acts made by employers due to the employee’s ethnicity, such as not giving them equal pay, failing to give them equal hours, or failing to help the employee with training or their career trajectory like they do with other employees.
Making Accommodations for the Employee’s Religion
In some instances, an employer’s refusal to make reasonable accommodations for the employee’s religious beliefs may be considered ethnic discrimination. For example, an employer must allow female Muslim employees to wear hijabs, and for a Christian to wear a cross around his or her neck.
Harassment in the Workplace
Harassment is a form of ethnic discrimination when the insults, threats, or mockery is aimed at the employee because of his or her ethnicity. Examples of harassment include making threats, using racial or ethnic slurs, making fun of the employee, mockery, spreading malicious rumors, continuously changing work guidelines, excluding the employee, physically harming the employee, and taking away work responsibilities.
Protecting the Rights of Workers
Ethnic discrimination is a real and growing problem in thousands of Missouri offices and establishments. If you believe that you have been the target of ethnic discrimination, your employer needs to be held responsible for their actions. Do not hesitate to reach out today to schedule a free consultation. Our lawyers have been serving employees for more than 40 years, and have the experience and knowledge to help you achieve your employment goals.