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Racial bias in the workplace is still a serious problem

Racism in the workplace is a disturbing and persistent problem in America. Here are some shocking statistics about racial discrimination according to a poll by CNN/Kaiser Family Foundation:

  • 57 percent of Hispanics and 69 percent of blacks say discrimination is a serious cause of the issues facing people of their race or ethnicity.
  • 15 percent of Hispanics and 26 percent of blacks say they experienced unfair treatment in the workplace in the past month.
  • The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received 31,073 claims of race discrimination in 2014.

Clearly, race is still a major problem in the U.S. workforce. Here are some prevalent ways that racism rears its ugly head at the workplace.

The hiring process

People of color often face discrimination before they get a chance. The application and hiring processes are ripe with discrimination. For example, 20 percent of Hispanics and 27 percent of blacks say they get turned down for positions they are qualified for, compared to 9 percent of white applicants.

Additionally, resumes with names that sound white, such as Brandon or Emily, get better responses than resumes with black-sounding names, such as Lakisha or Jamal. 

Disciplining and firing

Unfortunately, some managers and bosses have racial bias and discrimination, and this takes the form of disciplinary action. For instance, a manager may write up a black employee more often and for more minor issues than a white counterpart. 

Wages and benefits

Certain employees may pay employees less because of their race. Others may provide fewer benefits. This is an ongoing issue that contributes to a larger problem of racial disenfranchisement.

Harassment or bullying

People of color may experience various forms of harassment at work. Co-workers, supervisors and customers may all be the perpetrators of bullying, such as making comments, insults or distasteful jokes regarding race.

Despite state and federal laws that prohibit racism in the workplace, these problems still occur and often go unchecked.

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