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Signs of racial discrimination in the workplace 

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2023 | Employment Law

No one should have to experience discrimination in the workplace as a result of their race. Even with the proper laws and protections in place, however, it still happens. 

Sometimes it’s evident to everyone but most of the time it occurs subtly and over time. Many people face things they don’t feel comfortable with every day but don’t recognize that they’re experiencing racial discrimination. Here are some of the common signs of racial discrimination that occur at work:

Job role assignment

Racial discrimination may occur in a company where employees are given certain roles because of their race. An example of this is in refusing to allow a Hispanic member of staff who is bi-lingual to have a customer-facing position as English is not their first language. 

Another example is only offering Asian employees warehouse-level roles no matter what their qualifications, but putting White employees with fewer skills or education in management.

Policies that are not job-related

Having a “no-beard” policy, for example, where unnecessary may be evidence of unlawful racial discrimination. African-American men are more likely to suffer from a painful skin condition, Pseudofolliculitis barbae, which is exacerbated by shaving. 

A complete ban on hiring anyone with a criminal record may also adversely affect African-American and Latino applicants, who suffer from systemic biases that often lead to unnecessary arrests.

Open hostility

Sometimes team members, or other members of staff, openly express their feelings about another person’s race in a negative way. Examples of this would be telling someone they only got the job because of their race, making racist jokes or using an ethnic or racial slur to describe someone. 

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes racial discrimination in the workplace illegal. This means that no one should have to suffer or experience bias as a result of their race and there are employment law protections in place to protect workers.