Racial discrimination or Racism has been a recurring issue in the United States for centuries, with uncounted cases were not formally recorded and given the honor that it deserves. Although movements for the abolishment of slavery and the fight for civil rights were established at the start of the World War, the strive to fully achieve no racial discrimination is still present.
To a great degree, racism occurs in the workplace and it happens when an employee or applicant is unjustly treated because of one’s nationality or ethnicity. Despite being outstanding at work with excellent credentials, racism brings a colored employee’s progress through the corporate ladder slower and unfairly compared to white people.
Discrimination takes on many forms and can be done conspicuously or inconspicuously. Regardless of how it is done, discrimination against another person is still offensive in any of its forms.
Two Types of Racism
A. Individual Racism
Refers to an individual’s racist assumptions, beliefs, attitudes, and actions. This stems from the conscious and unconscious personal prejudice of the person towards another. The example of this form is telling a racist joke, having and or developing a superiority complex against the other, avoidance of being in the same place as a person of different nationality, and so on.
B. Systematic Racism
Refers to the policies and practices ingrained in conventional institutions, which result in the unfair and instant disqualification or promotion of a person who belongs to a designated group. The example of this form is housing discrimination, government surveillance, social segregation, predatory banking, access to healthcare, hiring/promotion process, and mandatory minimum sentences.
Manifestation of Racial Discrimination
The Fair Employment Housing Act (FEHA) is California’s primary law that prohibits race discrimination and harassment. The provisions that it implements apply to all aspects of employment and hiring. The following examples of conduct, if taken based on race, show that racism can take many forms:
- turning down applicants
- rejecting you for a training program
- refusing to promote
- devaluation of your position
- wrongful termination
- salary deduction
- refusing equal pay
- revoking reinstatement
- contesting giving you benefits
- pressuring you to quit
- charging you with varied duties that are no longer a part of your workload
- endangering you by providing a hostile work environment
Employees Protected Against Racial Discrimination
Under FEHA, the following individuals are protected against discrimination and harassment in the workplace:
- employees (regular and temporary)
- work applicants
- apprentices, interns (paid or unpaid), trainees
Those who are generally not protected by FEHA’s anti-discrimination provisions are independent contractors and volunteers, but they are protected against harassment.
Racial Discrimination in the Workplace-What to do?
Being an employee in California, you are entitled to and protected by the FEHA provisions of the right to be unburdened from racial discrimination in the workplace. If you experience such prejudiced treatment in your workplace, document what happened as much as you can and report the incident immediately to your supervisor or HR. Situationally, it’s quicker to resolve the matter by communicating with your employer directly about the issue.
However, if this does not work out and you are still being treated with prejudice and unfortunately get terminated for voicing it out, the next and best step is to hire an employment attorney and file a complaint with either the DFEH-California Department of Fair Employment and Housing or the EEOC-Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Wrongful Termination Lawyer in Los Angeles, California
Seeking legal advice from a wrongful termination lawyer is the first and best step you can once you experience retaliation from your employer due to racial discrimination.
Wrongful termination lawyers at Mesriani Law Group have won over millions of dollars in damages for our clients and guarantees the fastest possible time in obtaining the best compensation that the employee deserves. We offer free consultation every Monday-Friday 8 AM- 5 PM. Give us a call today to have your potential case assessed.