Workplace racial discrimination could be subtle, obvious, and/or systemic, but no matter which category it falls into, it is against the law. There are state and federal laws in place that prohibit this kind of behavior and if you believe that you have been targeted, you do not have to put up with it. The main things to remember are to gather as much evidence as possible and to follow company procedures for reporting what happened. Here are some other things that you should know.
What is the Definition of Employment Discrimination and What are My Rights?
Racial discrimination is a form of employment discrimination. It happens when employers and co-workers treat employees or applicants in less favorable ways, based on race. Examples of mistreatment based on race might include:
- Being denied benefits and promotions
- Enduring offensive actions, comments, and communications from colleagues, vendors, or managers
- Not being given equal pay
- Not being hired for a job even though you are equally or more qualified than other applicants
- Not being permitted to wear your hair, clothing, or accessories that relate to your racial or ethnic identity (with the exception of such being hazardous to your working conditions.)
- Not qualifying for job-related training/not being included in meetings
Employees have the right to be in working environments that are free of discrimination. If you feel that you are being treated differently because of your race, you also have the right to bring this up with your employer.
How Can I Prove Workplace Racial Discrimination?
Generally, managers and executives know better than to blatantly discriminate against employees in ways that can be documented (emails, flyers, voicemails) but if this happens, save everything in a safe place and include dates and times.
You may have to provide indirect evidence to prove a case of racial discrimination. Write down instances of discrimination (with dates and times) and see if you can get any witnesses to back you up. You can also find out what others with the same experience and responsibilities as you are being paid, document your skills, and find out why someone else got that promotion you were highly qualified for.
Can I File a Racial Discrimination Claim at Work?
The answer to this question should be in your employee manual, along with the steps you need to take. Smaller companies do not always have HR representatives, so you may have to go through another channel. Draft a formal letter of complaint and attach any evidence you may have gathered. Document the employer’s response and any actions they may have or may have not taken on your behalf.
Should your complaints not be addressed, you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a state agency, or a local one like the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. Follow the instructions carefully, and you may receive a positive response. Otherwise, you have the option of contacting an employment lawyer.
The Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Support Employees Facing Workplace Racial Discrimination
Your workplace should be free of any kind of discrimination, but some employees still experience this kind of abuse. If this has happened to you, contact the skilled Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Our caring, assertive Philadelphia employment lawyers offer confidential consultations and can fight to protect your rights. Complete our online form or call us at 215-574-0600. We are located in Philadelphia and serve clients in South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.