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Steps Workers Can Take If They Are Experiencing Racial Discrimination In The Workplace

According to one study that was done nearly a third of all the Native Americans who participated said that they had been harassed or discriminated against at work.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act makes it a Federal crime for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of their race, sex, religion, or where they were born. There is a Federal agency called the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission whose mission is to investigate all claims of workplace discrimination. You can file a complaint with the EEOC against your employer if you’re being discriminated against. The EEOC has jurisdiction in all 50 states. And in 44 states the state labor board has an agreement to share information with the EEOC. So when you file a complaint against an employer in one of those states the state will get copies of everything you submit to the EEOC and they will launch a state investigation against that employer.

Examples Of Workplace Discrimination

  • Being Denied Raises or Promotions
  • Targeted Harassment and bullying by coworkers or bosses is another very common form of discrimination.
  • “Jokes” about Native Americans or Native culture, offensive stereotyping, offensive language or slurs, and all types of bullying are discrimination and are illegal.
  • Getting Hours Cut
  • Dress Code Restrictions
  • Employers cannot create dress codes that discriminate or that forbid religious clothing or hair styles. For example: your employer can’t require that you cut your hair, if you have grown your hair out for religious reasons.


Filing A Workplace Discrimination Claim

Any employee can file a complaint with the EEOC and your employer cannot fire you or retaliate against you for filing a complaint. But before you file a complaint make sure that your employer is aware of what is happening to you. Make a list of all the discrimination and bullying that you have been experiencing and take that list to your boss and to the HR department. Make them aware of what is happening if they aren’t aware. Then ask what they’re going to do about it. If they refuse to take action or if they dismiss your experiences then you can file a complaint against the employer. You can file a complaint by phone or online through the EEOC’s website.

You can also file a complaint on the state level. In Washington D.C., you can file a discrimination complaint with the D.C. Office of Human Rights (OHR). When you file a discrimination complaint on the state level in Washington D.C., it will be dual filed with the EEOC, that way you don’t have to file two complaints.