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What are some examples of racial discrimination in the workplace?


Racial discrimination and harassment in the workplace can take many forms. It can be subtle or obvious. It can be initiated by a co-worker or a supervisor.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), there may be several different types of race discrimination:

  • Color discrimination
  • Reverse discrimination
  • Same-race discrimination
  • Intersectional discrimination
  • Association discrimination
  • Biracial discrimination

No matter what, race-based discrimination in the workplace is illegal. Recognizing signs of race discrimination in the workplace is the first step in taking action to stop the behavior.

But what, exactly, does racial discrimination look like? What specific behaviors are considered race discrimination?

Let's take a look at some examples. Racial discrimination may include:

  • Making inappropriate comments or jokes about an employee's race
  • Referring to employees of a certain race in slang terms or code words
  • Assigning employees of a certain race different job duties
  • Taking adverse action against an employee for his or her association to someone of a certain race (a spouse, children, etc.)
  • Asking a job applicant about his or her racial identity
  • Failure to hire employees of a certain race to maintain a "certain look" in a workplace
  • Unfairly disciplining certain employees on the basis of race

There are many examples of race-related discrimination - and it is important to remember that it can occur in any workplace. It can slip through the cracks in the most unlikely of settings, which can make it all the more difficult for victims to identify.

When notified of discrimination, employers must ensure that the conduct stops. If they fail to do so, they can be held accountable. Victims may be eligible for significant compensation.

If you have experienced racial discrimination in the workplace and your employer is refusing to address it, you should speak to an employment law attorney as soon as possible.

Free consultation: Call 866-295-7512 to reach our office in Pasadena.

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