More on Race and Color Discrimination Prohibitions
For instance, an employer can engage in discrimination by denying an employee training because they are African American, while allowing White employees the opportunity to improve their knowledge and skills—setting up an unfair advantage in the workplace. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, and in line with this example, Federal courts have previously ruled that denying someone the building blocks for a promotion (such as training) is just as bad as denying the person the promotion itself.
Because of the numerous ways in which employers can discriminate against employees, I want everyone to be very clear about conduct that is prohibited in the workplace. I hope these posts have been helpful in confirming and clarifying illegal activity that is occurring in far too many workplaces across America. But, remember that simply knowing that an employer is engaging in illegal activity is only part of the battle. Once you have your suspicions of potential law-breaking, you have to decide if you are going to pursue any actions that will allow you to vindicate your rights—internally (at your workplace) or externally (through an outside agency or attorney). It is important that you document your case, maintain evidence, and prepare a list of witnesses, who can corroborate your version of events. Back to race and color discrimination…
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act states that:
-- Employers cannot permit race bias to affect work assignments, performance measurements, pay, training, mentoring or networking, discipline, or any other term, condition, or privilege of employment;
-- Work assignments must be distributed in a nondiscriminatory manner. This means that race cannot be a factor in determining the amount of work a person receives, or in determining who gets the more, or less, desirable assignments;
-- Performance evaluations frequently serve as the basis for numerous other employment decisions, such as pay, promotions, and terminations. They should be unaffected by race bias;
-- Training is important for employees to become proficient in their jobs and to prepare for advancement. This includes both formal training and informal training through feedback from supervisors. As with other aspects of the employment relationship, race cannot be a factor in who receives training and constructive feedback;
-- Informal workplace networks can be just as important to an organization as official job titles and reporting relationships. Thus, an employee’s success may depend not only on his or her job duties, but also on his or her integration into important workplace networks. Employers cannot allow racial bias to affect an employee’s ability to become part of these networks; and
-- Employees must receive compensation without regard to race. All forms of compensation are covered, such as salary, overtime pay, bonuses, stock options, expense accounts, commissions, life insurance, vacation and holiday pay, and benefits.