When you get to work in the morning, you should expect to feel safe and treated with respect. For some, however, work is a place where they are targeted and treated differently based on their race. It is against the law to discriminate against anyone. If you have been a victim of racial discrimination in the workplace, it is important to know your rights and what you can do to stand up for yourself, as an employment lawyer in Towson, MD from a law firm like Seigel & Rouhana, LLC can explain.
How to Identify Racial Discrimination at Work
It is important to be able to recognize the different signs of racial discrimination at work. Racial discrimination is typically categorized into three different types of employment discrimination.
- Racial Harassment
Harassment is considered to be racial discrimination. If someone is harassing another person because the victim is a different race, it is against the law. An example of racial harassment would be if a coworker calls an African American employee and makes threats while on speakerphone so that everyone can hear. Another example would be if a boss yells at an Asian employee repeatedly because their work was “terrible”, yet it was of the same standards as the rest of the coworkers’.
- Direct Racial Discrimination
It is easy to detect direct racial discrimination because typically the coworker or employer does not feel the need to hide that they are being discriminatory. They could either believe the victim will not take action against them or they simply do not think of any consequences; someone who participates in direct racial discrimination is very open when doing so. An example of direct racial discrimination would be if an employer jokingly says that African Americans cannot drink from the same water fountain as everyone else as they could spread a disease.
- Indirect Racial Discrimination
Indirect racial discrimination is when a coworker or employer is being discriminatory, but tries to cover it up. An example of indirect discrimination would be if an employer provides a getaway trip as a reward to his employees but excludes a group of new employees who also happen to be Caucasian. The employer may state that it is because they are new that they were not welcomed to go on the trip, however, it could be indirect discrimination.
Reporting Discrimination at Work
If you are being discriminated against at work, it is important that you don’t allow it continue. The first step you should take is to document the incident and report it to your supervisor. If you do not feel your supervisor or Human Resources is doing an adequate job handling the situation, then you may want to consider contacting a lawyer. By contacting an experienced employment lawyer, you are standing up for yourself and also taking action to try to stop this behavior from ever affecting another employee at your workplace.