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Race discrimination in the workplace

Workplace race discrimination can be especially insidious in Indiana companies when it occurs. Although laws have prohibited such discrimination since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the problematic discriminatory behavior continues to occur.

Racial discrimination can occur at any stage of employment, including advertising, interviews, hiring decisions, availability of promotions, benefits, raises or training opportunities, firings and layoffs. When people are treated differently than other similarly situated workers on the basis of their race, they may be able to pursue action through filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the state's corresponding agency under both federal and state law.

Race discrimination at work is not always overt, but it may be discernible by comparing the treatment received to that of other workers. For example, if a non-white person is passed over for a job or promotion and a less-qualified white person is instead offered the position, the person may have been the victim of race discrimination. Other examples may be if a person learns that other workers of a different race receive more pay for the same position, even though they are less qualified.

The history of race discrimination against people of different colors and races necessitated such federal intervention as provided by the Civil Rights Act. Despite the law's prohibitions, such discrimination continues to occur. Both the EEOC and state agencies provide for short timeframes within which a complaint may be filed. People should thus file a complaint as soon as they learn they were discriminated against based on their race. By filing a lawsuit against the employer, plaintiffs may be able to recover damages, and the employer may be mandated to make changes to right their wrongs. People who believe a potential, current or former employer acted out of discriminatory beliefs may want to consult with an employment law attorney.

Source: Workplace Fairness, "What is race discrimination?", January 02, 2015

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