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Racism in the workplace

How does one deal with racial discrimination in the workplace? What kind of protection could a victim of a racial slur defend himself or herself? What regulations should every employer follow to limit racial discrimination in the workplace? These questions are very important to ask and complex to understand. It is important for employees to know what to do when facing this kind of prejudicial behavior when working.


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission forbids racial/color discrimination in the workplace. This typically involves treating an employee or even an applicant who plans on working under the employer, in a prejudicial manner given that he or she is of a specific race. This can come down to pointing out the victim’s skin color, facial features, hair texture, accent, country of origin, heritage, customs, traditions, language, etc.

In several occasions, the victim can be a person who happens to be in a relationship with a person of color or from a certain race. For example, someone married to a person from a different race can also receive discrimination in the workplace simply because of their spouse.

The law clearly forbids any kind racial discrimination when it comes to considering a candidate for a certain position in the workplace. A person’s wages, his or her position in the workplace, their assignments, promotions, benefits, training, and several other nuances of the job should not be limited or conditioned based on the person’s race.

What to do?

The underlying problem when dealing with racism in the workplace is that it usually goes undetected and many employees behave in a prejudicial manner without knowing it. It is important to be aware of the subtleties behind someone’s behavior and not let it go undetected if there are some suspicions on the person’s actions. If an employee fears that he or she has suffered racial discrimination, then it is important for the victim to speak up their supervisor, human resources, or even an employment attorney.