The Role of Race in Workplace Harassment and Discrimination


In the United States, people of color experience workplace harassment and discrimination at alarmingly high rates. A 2017 study found that nearly 60% of black workers said they had experienced racial discrimination at work, compared to 38% of Hispanic workers and 35% of Asian workers.

This discrimination can take many forms, from intentional exclusion from important work conversations to being passed over for promotions or raises. Even seemingly small slights, like being asked to perform janitorial duties while white coworkers are given more meaningful assignments, can create a hostile work environment. Keep reading to learn more about the role of race in workplace harassment and discrimination, and if you find yourself experiencing this, be sure to contact the Law Finkel Firm for you to get the justice you deserve.

Race influences the hiring process.


There is a lot of research that shows that race influences the hiring process. Studies have shown that resumes with white-sounding names are more likely to get called in for an interview than resumes with black-sounding names, even when the qualifications of the applicants are the same. Additionally, black and Latino candidates are more likely to be asked questions about their criminal history during an interview than white candidates, and the same goes for Native Americans. These findings suggest that employers are biased against black and Latino candidates, which can lead to unfair treatment in the hiring process. This bias can be difficult to overcome, even for qualified candidates. To learn more about your ancestry and family history of racial discrimination, consider completing, for example, a DNA test for native American people.

Race influences workplace bullying.

Workplace bullying has been a problem for many years. In fact, it has been so pervasive that many books and articles have been written about it. Studies have shown that the problem exists in many different industries and affects employees of all races, but especially racial minorities. There are a few different ways that race can influence the experience of workplace bullying. The first way is that the race of the bully and the victim can affect the way that the bullying is enacted. For example, a study by the Workplace Bullying Institute showed that black and Latino workers are more likely to be the target of physical violence than white workers. Another way that race can influence the experience of workplace bullying is the way that victims respond to it. Victims of workplace bullying can often feel like they are in a no-win situation. They may feel like they cannot stand up to the bully because they are intimidated or scared, or they may feel like they are not supposed to stand up to the bully because of their race.

Race influences wrongful termination.


There is no question that race can influence whether or not someone is wrongfully terminated from their job. In fact, a study by the Economic Policy Institute found that black workers are more than twice as likely to be fired than white workers, even when they have the same qualifications and experience. This is often referred to as the “racial penalty” in the workforce. There are a number of possible reasons for this disparity. For one, employers may be more likely to fire black workers than white workers because they believe that they are more likely to file a lawsuit or speak up about discrimination. Additionally, black workers may be disproportionately targeted for layoffs or other forms of job insecurity. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that race can play a significant role in whether or not someone is wrongfully terminated. If you believe that you have been fired because of your race, it is important to speak with an attorney right away. They can help you determine if you have a case and guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit.

Altogether, the role of race in workplace harassment and discrimination is important in order to understand the complex dynamics that contribute to these incidents. By understanding how race can play a role in harassment and discrimination, employers can create a more inclusive and equitable workplace.

Ebonie Barden works across OI's platforms and deparments, developing content that reflects our readers' inquiries and needs in order to best engage and serve our diverse audiences on the topics that matter.

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