Racism and racial bias have existed in the United States since before its formation in the 16th century, and it is truly shocking that it is still prevalent today. As an employment law firm in New Jersey, we have a duty to help protect those who have been wronged and discriminated against in their place of employment. Our team outlines how racial bias has permeated the workplace, and how we commit to fighting against it.
Types of Racial Discrimination in the Workplace
Although racial discrimination may seem somewhat easy to identify, and is painfully obvious to those who have been affected, it has a way of eluding many people’s attention. There are times where discrimination is as overt as racist comments or remarks toward minority employees and coworkers, but there are more subtle ways in which employers and employees alike have gotten away with workplace racism.
Here are some of the most common experiences many minorities face in the workplace:
- Denied Promotions: An individual of color that is equally, or even more, qualified for a position is passed over in favor of their white colleagues for promotions or raises.
- Workplace Exclusion: Individuals of color are purposefully excluded from informal networking events.
- Racial Jokes: Enduring inappropriate race-based jokes, slurs, mimicking of mannerisms or accents that are “just for fun” during meetings, training sessions, or social settings at work.
- Comments on Appearance: Women of color being told to “fix their hair” or make themselves look more professional.
- Dismissal of Complaints: When individuals of color are told they are “playing the race card” when expressing their concerns about unfair treatment at their workplace.
All of these examples, and more, take a physical and psychological toll on minority employees, and employers should take better care of ensuring their workplace is safe for all of their employees.
Wage Gap for Minority Workers
It is no secret that a wage gap exists in the American workplace when it comes to people of color and their white colleagues. As employers have looked for ways to better protect their minority employees, the wage gap has garnered specific attention.
Black men and women have some of the lowest earnings compared to their white colleagues:
- According to payscale, black women earn $0.97 for every dollar earned by a white man, while black men with the same job and qualifications see a gap of $0.98 in pay.
Not only do white workers earn more than their minority colleagues, but they also hold more high-level jobs with higher pay. While white workers may hold a smaller percentage of positions as individual contributors, the true difference is found when observing leadership positions in the workplace.
How Employers Can Combat Racial Discrimination
It is one thing to identify discrimination in the workplace and another for those to take responsibility and take action for those afflicted. Here are some efforts companies can take to make sure they give their minority employees the best chance of success:
- Awareness & Action: Conduct audits through an anti-racism lens. This can be done during recruitment, hiring, retention, promotion, job evaluation, and termination processes.
- Enact Hiring Initiatives: Provide on-site and virtual opportunities for those in underrepresented communities.
- Hire Consultants: Hire an external consultant to help organize the development and implementation of anti-discrimination strategies.
- Employee Development: Develop programs to help employees and leadership in their professional development.
If you have become a victim of workplace discrimination, you do not have to face pursuing justice on your own, and our dedicated team of employment law specialists is ready to guide you through the process.
Get in touch with us today through our website or give us a call at (856) 512-1461 to find out how we can help you pursue the justice you deserve.