Racial Discrimination: Affected? Help is here
Discrimination is a serious topic within the workplace and the law has clear provisions in place to protect people from all kinds of discrimination and prevent it from happening. Yet cases of discrimination, whether they happen to involve racism, age, gender or disability, do still occur. So, how do you know if you've been racially discriminated against in the workplace and what can you do about it?
What constitutes racial discrimination?
Whether it happens in the workplace or outside of the office, the law aims to protect people from racial discrimination. In both the UK and USA there are a clear set of laws in place which prohibit employment discrimination, whether based on race or colour, religion, nationality or sex. This means that companies must not hire employees on the basis of their colour (or fail to hire employees for the same reason), harass staff, reward or promote staff on the basis of colour or race, attempt to segregate staff in any way or retaliate against staff who do make charges against the employer for racial discrimination.
A common complaint with racial discrimination is staff feeling as though they are being harassed within the workplace because of their race or colour. This can be in the form of 'jokes' or comments and these are likely to fall foul of anti-discrimination laws.
What should you do if you experience discrimination?
Help is at hand. Firstly, you should speak to your manager or a HR advisor within your company for advice. Give them the opportunity to take the complaint seriously and put steps in place to rectify it. Write down notes, dates, actions and keep records so that nothing falls through the gaps. Similarly, if you experience harassment, write down what happened, who was responsible, when and where it occurred and keep an evidence log. Be as specific as you can about these events.
If nothing happens as a result of this initial conversation, file a formal complaint. If you have a trade union representative, get their support and guidance. If this also brings about no change, engage a discrimination solicitor in Leeds to get professional advice. They will advise on legal steps to progress your complaint. If you have legal expenses cover with your home insurance or other financial product, see if you can use it to fund any formal action that may be required. Legal aid should be available if you earn under a certain amount of income and there is plenty of advice available on dealing with such complaints effectively.
Don't put up with it
No one should have to put up with discrimination in the workplace, whether it's intentional or unintentional. Steps your employer might take to stop the event from occurring again could include training and awareness for managers in recognising the signs of discrimination, understanding the rules of the law and identifying instances of discrimination. The employer should also take appropriate steps to tackle it, in accordance with the HR policies of the organisation.