Racism is WRONG.
There is no place in the workplace for racism.
What can be done about racism in the workplace?
Employers are responsible for Racial Harassment, but under what circumstances?
Racial harassment is:
Racial harassment often overlaps with ethnic, ancestry, color, and national origin harassment. Attempting to pinpoint exactly which of these categories the harassment falls into is not productive because all of them are forbidden in the workplace.
Employers are liable for harassment by having -
Supervisors, higher level employees, or co-workers:
If the employer knows of their harassment, and it continues.
Employees need wrongful termination lawyers if they have actually been fired from their jobs, or they need to quit their jobs due to intolerable working conditions. If the employment has not ended, and is still occurring the only question is whether the employee has grounds to quit and sue. Wrongful termination attorneys sue for the loss of a job. They are not available for general consultations about workplace issues.
In order for employers to be responsible for racial harassment of supervisors the supervisor must, at minimum, have the ability to direct the flow and/or assign work. Employers can be strictly liable for a lead’s harassment depending on the lead’s responsibility, and whether they are the highest ranking person in charge who is present. Companies are strictly liable for racial harassment by a supervisor, manager, or owner. These persons of authority do not have to be the harassment victim’s immediate supervisor.
Racial harassment has to be offensive to a reasonable person of the age and background of the victim of harassment. Presumably there are some comments and actions that may not pass this test. For example, if somebody said, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles” many ethnicities may relate this quote to their ancestor’s struggles, but these are the first few words of the Communist Manifesto by the great political thinker Karl Marx. These words express Marx’s belief about dueling classes in society for thousands of years. But what if a manager remarked, on a daily basis, there is a reason why a certain minority group earns less than others? That is offensive and related to a particular ethnicity or race.
SPEAK TO A RACE DISCRIMINATION LAWYER
Racial discrimination at work is actionable, in other words it can be sued for in court, if the discrimination causes adverse employment consequences. Adverse employment consequences are clearly a job termination, or being forced to quit. Losing a job title, not having a reduction in pay, or having a marginal deduction in pay or hours are not adverse job consequences a court is likely to indulge. Firing somebody because they complained about racism is an adverse job consequence.
The biggest problem with racial discrimination at work is often times it can be felt, but proving it is racially motivated conduct is another story. The court will argue a series of actions taken towards an employee may be the cause of race discrimination, but could just as easily be the cause of business necessity and somebody’s non-discriminatory belief about how business should be conducted. Ultimately, the employee must prove the adverse job actions were substantially motivated by race.
Examples of race discrimination at work, the Employment Lawyers Group has succeeded in proving include: