No one ever wants to talk about racism. It’s a sensitive and uncomfortable topic for many people in California. But the fact is, racism exists in the workplace, and it can have damaging effects on employees’ mental health, job satisfaction and productivity. Fortunately, there are laws and criteria to prevent or curb racism in the workplace.
Understanding workplace racism
According to employment law, workplace racism is any form of discrimination based on a person’s race, color, national origin or ancestry. Some common forms of workplace racism include verbal abuse and slurs, exclusion from work activities due to racial differences, unfair treatment in terms of pay and promotions, biased job interviews that discourage applicants from certain backgrounds and the setting of unrealistic work expectations.
Effects of workplace racism
The effects of workplace racism can be far-reaching and devastating if allowed to continue unchecked. Employees affected by workplace racism may suffer from depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. They may also experience difficulty concentrating at work due to feeling uncomfortable or unwelcome in their environment. In some cases, employees may even leave their jobs as a result of persistent workplace racism.
Handling workplace racism
It is important to note that laws exist to protect employees from workplace discrimination, and employers are responsible for ensuring a fair and safe work environment. If you experience or witness racism in the workplace, it is important to take action right away. Here are some steps you can take:
- Document any incidents of racist behavior, including the persons involved and what they said or did.
- Speak up about the issue with your supervisor, human resources department or equal opportunity office.
- Report any illegal activity to the appropriate state agencies, such as the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
- File a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
By speaking up and taking action, you can help put an end to workplace racism and create a safe and inclusive environment for everyone. Remember that it is your right as an employee for everyone to treat you fairly and with respect. If you experience any form of racial discrimination, don’t hesitate to stand up for yourself and report the issue.