Race Discrimination in Employment | Unemployment Attorney

Race Discrimination

Iowa and Federal law prohibit discrimination and harassment based on race. However, because the concept of discrimination in employment is so often misunderstood, many employees do not recognize discrimination when it is occurring and therefore take no steps to protect their rights to equal employment.
The complex explanation is that most people are denied equal employment opportunities because of negative perceptions tied to race. In more simple terms, your manager or supervisor often views you, and other persons of color, through a filter. This discrimination filter lets all the bad views of your race through to the supervisor who then relies upon those views in making decisions about you and other persons of color, and the filter keeps out much, if not all the good about you or your race. The discrimination filter works in reverse when the supervisor is viewing persons who are white. It lets in the good and keeps out the bad.   This results in the white manager giving people who look like them the “benefit of the doubt” while holding people who do not look like them to a “higher” or different standard.

Click here to read about Beverly Couch's race discrimination experience.
Some basic examples of how negative perceptions tied to race may raise their head include: 

  • A hiring manager may select a white applicant over you for the job or promotion based on wanting to work with people who look like them or some tiny aversion or negative view tied to your race.
  • A manager or supervisor may allow negative views of your race to cause them to pay you less or give you less hours than white coworkers
  • Harassment tied to race is a form of discrimination.  While many employer may no longer allow the use of racial slurs, that has nothing to do with whether the environment is stained with negative views about your race and nothing to do with whether you have a claim for racial harassment
  • An employer may use testing or other so-called “objective” measures of performance that result in the exclusion of certain races. 

The list of possible scenarios is endless, but when the racial discrimination filter is in place, it can and will affect your employment opportunities like getting hired, views of your performance, your promotions, your pay and whether you get fired as well as how you may be treated day in and day out by various supervisors.

For a more detailed discussion of the plastic and changing nature of bias tied to race or gender, please go to the Modern Bias or Education page in our Website.

All information on our website is meant to be generally informative.  To find out whether it applies to your situation in particular, you should consult an unemployment attorney of your choice.


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