How to Deal With Racial Discrimination in the Workplace

Estimated Time to Read: 3 minutes

As all the racial discrimination lawyers in Los Angeles will tell you, racial discrimination is explicitly prohibited in all employment practices by the California Employment Law. Even so, unfortunately, many people may still encounter it in their workplace. It may be in the form of the negative attitude someone takes towards you, the disparaging way in which they treat you, or the hostile remarks they make to you.

It may involve conditions of employment such as not getting called for an interview, not being hired for a job, being appointed to a lower job position, not being given enough work responsibility, not being made to feel part of a team, receiving a lesser salary, being overlooked for promotions, not being given benefits, and more.

Dealing with Racial Discrimination in the Workplace

Many employees try to ignore overt instances of racial discrimination to avoid stirring up the waters. They are fearful of retaliation from their colleagues and superiors. They don’t want to risk being fired from their job over the matter. However, it is ethically problematic to remain silent when you are being discriminated against or when you know someone else is.

Additionally, it can be extremely demoralizing to be targeted with racially discriminatory treatment by your superiors and colleagues. The hostile workplace will make you feel constantly anxious, fearful, and distressed. Along with taking its toll on your mental equilibrium, the stress of having to deal on a day-to-day basis with humiliating, degrading, hostile, offensive, and intimidating behaviors could harm your work productivity and performance and consequently your career trajectory. It is, therefore, imperative that you take appropriate steps to put an end to the discrimination.

Here are a few tips for dealing with racial discrimination in the workplace.

Know Your Legal Rights

According to the California Employment Law, you have the right to work in a safe environment that is free of any discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, and more. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equality Act of 2010 are clear on this. The legislation also protects you from any retaliatory actions from your work colleagues and employer.

You should also read your company’s employee handbook and understand the company policy for handling racial discrimination issues.

Address the Issue Head-On

Don’t ignore the issue when you find yourself or others being discriminated against. Speak up and ask the offenders if they know they are being offensive and that their behavior is against the state employment law. Make sure you stay calm and objective when you address them. If they didn’t mean to be offensive, explain that you found it to be so and you would like them to refrain from such behavior in the future.

Let people understand that you will not tolerate being treated in such a manner and that you will not stand for others being discriminated against either.

Inform Your Manager and the HR Department

If speaking with the offenders does not work, inform your manager about what is going on and ask them to intervene. By law, your employer is obliged to ensure that there are no instances of racial discrimination in the workplace. They will have to take action against the offenders. You can also write a letter to your company’s human resources department, detailing the events and when they took place. File a formal complaint using your company’s formal grievance process if the problem persists still.

Hire a Racial Discrimination Lawyer

You will have to take legal recourse if all other attempts fail to stop the racial discrimination you are encountering in your workplace. Look up racial discrimination lawyers in Los Angeles and find a competent, experienced attorney to represent you.

Many of the top racial discrimination lawyers in Los Angeles offer a free initial consultancy service in which they will evaluate your case and let you know if it will stand scrutiny in court. Some lawyers may also offer contingency-based services, where they will charge you legal fees only if they win the case for you. If they agree to work with you, they will investigate the matter thoroughly, collect evidence, file for a trial, and see to it that you receive justice.

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