The workplace can be rife with racial discrimination, especially discrimination towards minorities. It is often the case that a superior is discriminating against a worker, for example, denying a worker a promotion based on race or even firing a worker based on race. However, even co-workers can racially discriminate against one another, making the workplace unpleasant at best and hostile at worst.
Race discrimination by minorities against minorities
For example, one report states that co-worker racial discrimination is becoming increasingly common. Racial slurs constantly hurled in your direction by co-workers can make you feel, as one worker put it, dehumanized.
Racial discrimination does not need to come only from majorities. Minorities can discriminate against other minorities based on race. For example, the report goes on to explain how some Latino co-workers and supervisors are increasingly discriminating against Black workers based on race.
What can you do if you are the victim of racial discrimination?
Being discriminated against based on race can make facing the workplace very difficult. In addition to the emotional trauma and abusive treatment, your complaints to your superiors may go unheard and unacted upon. This can make a distressing situation at work even worse.
There are steps you can take, however, if you have tried to address the problem of race discrimination in the workplace internally, and you are still being discriminated against. You can file a charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The EEOC will investigate the situation and will generally require your employer to respond to the charge in writing. The EEOC may interview your employer and witnesses. You can add new instances of discrimination if they continue to occur during the investigation process.
The EEOC will determine if your employer broke the law in discriminating against you based on the results of their investigation. If so, the EEOC will try to settle the dispute and if that fails, may decide to pursue a lawsuit against your employer. If the EEOC does not settle the situation or pursue a lawsuit, they will provide you with a “Notice of Right to Sue” which gives you the right to pursue a lawsuit against your employer.
Race discrimination in the workplace is illegal, but that does not stop it from occurring. If you were called racial slurs by co-workers, suffered wrongful treatment in the workplace based on race, or otherwise were the subject of racial discrimination in the workplace, you have the right to have the situation resolved satisfactorily, whether it is settled internally or needs more formal action taken by the EEOC.