You should be free to carry out your job without the fear of experiencing harassment or discrimination due to your race. Even though there are laws in place that make this behavior illegal, the unfortunate truth is that it still happens.
Overt examples of racist behavior might be less common than they used to be but many employees find that discrimination and harassment happen in subtle ways and, in many instances, over a period of time. The subtlety of their mistreatment leaves people in a position where they feel uncomfortable going to work when they have to face comments, policies and unfairness based on their race but yet, they may feel that they don’t have enough evidence of this mistreatment to file legal action.
These are just a few examples of racial discrimination in the workplace, that range from subtle to overt. Generally though, it helps to speak with an attorney about specific circumstances as this kind of mistreatment can be very difficult to identify with confidence.
Being offered a particular job role
One way that racial discrimination in the workplace can manifest itself is through the allocation of jobs. For example, it may be the case that a Hispanic employee is not offered a customer-facing role despite being bi-lingual due to the fact that English is not their first language.
Facing behavior that is openly hostile
It may be less common for people to openly express their feelings at work about another person’s race in a negative way but it does still happen. Colleagues may experience being the butt of a racist joke or hearing comments about them having received their job not on merit but due to their race. Racist discrimination at work can also potentially occur when one employee uses a racial slur to describe another employee.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal for racial discrimination to take place at work. Seeking legal guidance concerning employment law protections can help you to better understand your rights and options as an employee if you are being mistreated.