Racial discrimination in the workplace is the unequal treatment of employees based on their descent, the color of their skin, ancestry or ethnic background. Although racial discrimination is illegal, it is very prevalent in the workplace with most employees failing to notice they are victim to this kind of discrimination. Racial discrimination in the workplace is something that can be difficult to detect. It is important to note that racial discrimination doesn't necessarily need to occur between people of different races. Racial discrimination is illegal, and the law protects employees against discrimination in every stage of employment such as recruitment, the terms, and conditions of the workplace and even the dismissal.
Identifying Racial Discrimination
Unless an employer or an employee openly admits to racial discrimination, it may be difficult to accuse them of racially discriminating. Most employers reserve the right to hire or fire employees. As a result, it is difficult to prove that an employer racially discriminated during the hiring or firing process. For example, in the hiring process, prospective employers are not allowed to ask about the applicant's race. If an employer asks about the applicant's race, he or she becomes liable to racial discrimination. However, a potential employer may ask about race provided he or she is not involved in the decision-making process.
Despite the laws established against racial discrimination, it is possible to identify racial discrimination from the hiring trends of employers. A potential employer cannot cite race as the reason for turning down an application. However, he or she can cite other reasons that may or may not be relevant in an attempt to prevent the applicant from joining the company. Because of such, it is difficult to point out exactly if racial discrimination has taken place in the work field. Other than recruitment, an employer may appoint another lesser qualified individual for a promotion at the expense of qualified personnel because of their race. As open as this case seems it is not easy to establish a case of discrimination because the employer can always cite reasons other than qualification and race. The employee will have to prove that he or she is qualified for the post and that the person chosen for the promotion was less qualified; for them to prove a case of discrimination. At this stage, the complainant will also have to show a history of similar decisions from the employer on other people from the same race as the litigant.
Federal Laws Against Racial Discrimination
It, therefore, falls to the employees in the workplace to know their rights. Knowing their rights enables them to know when the employer racially discriminates against them. The Federal laws under Title VII prohibit employers from failing to hire or recruit a potential employee by race. They also forbid employers from firing or punishing an employee because of their race. The Federal employment laws and wage bill prevent employers from paying certain employees less because of their race. Additionally, employers are not allowed to fail to provide benefits or offer promotions by race. Finally, any action by an employer that improperly classifies or segregates employees because of their race is a violation of Federal laws. Title VII covers private and public employers, local governments, state governments, and educational institutions with more than 15 employees.
Workplace discrimination may also be in the form of policies. There are certain traits of characteristics that are common to members of a certain race. Enacting laws or policies that target these features constitutes racial discrimination in the workplace. Federal law prohibits employers from enacting policies that isolate members of a particular group.
Exceptions for Racial Discrimination in the Workplace
There are exceptions when it comes to racial discrimination in the workplace. As of 2010, some exceptions may allow employers to discriminate racially. Employers are allowed to favor a particular race in the hiring process in an attempt to combat the disadvantaged group. For example, a company can favor hiring Asians in an attempt to combat their disadvantaged status in the society. Alternatively, an employer may favor people from a certain race to meet the specific needs of a particular group. For example, a Chinese restaurant may prefer hiring Chinese to meet the demands of their customers. Employers are also allowed to favor certain races in the hiring process if hiring a person from that particular race is necessary to maintain particular credibility or authenticity in photography, artistry, entertainment, modeling or such as a field. For example, a company looking to hire models to advertise a certain brand may racially discriminate in favor of white women if the brand they are advertising targets, white women. These are some of the few instances where race turns out to be a qualification for a certain job.
Racial discrimination in the workplace is illegal under Title VII of the US constitution. However, it is difficult to prove racial discrimination in the workplace because employers can cite other reasons for these actions. As a result, racial discrimination in the workplace usually goes unpunished. Employees have to know their rights so that they know when they are facing racial discrimination in the workplace. However, the law provides certain exceptions when it comes to racial discrimination in the workplace. Companies are allowed to discriminate only if the company is trying to portray a particular dramatic image such as in the case in the entertainment industry.
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