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Racism is still a serious problem in the restaurant industry

There is a great deal of racial discrimination in the food service industry. According to 2015 statistics from Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, as reported by Take Part, people of color earn significantly less than white people who work in restaurants. The data shows that disparities exist across the entire industry, from fast food chains to fine-dining establishments. 

Racism in the restaurant industry takes many forms. Here is a list of some of the most prominent ways that people of color experience unfair treatment.

Unequal pay

According to the report, workers of color earn approximately 56 percent lower than white workers with the same qualifications (when adjusted for educational and language factors). Some employers may pay certain employees less or provide fewer benefits than others because of race. It can be disturbing to find out that a white co-worker is earning more for doing the same job as you.

Hiring and firing

You may have more difficulty finding a job in the restaurant industry if you are a person of color. People with "black-sounding names" may not get as many interviews as those with names that sound more European American. If you do find a job, you may be more likely to experience wrongful termination. Some bosses discipline employees more harshly because of their race.

Racial harassment

Any form of racial harassment is wrong. Your co-workers may make offensive jokes about your ethnicity. Perhaps someone at your job uses blatantly discriminatory terms to describe you. If you experience racism at work and your boss does not take action to resolve the issue, you may be able to sue your employer.

Job classification

If you work the same job for several years, your responsibilities may increase. Despite the fact that you are taking on new responsibilities, your boss may not promote you or increase your pay. However, you may notice your white colleagues get more compensation after they take on new responsibilities. 

It is unfortunate that racism is so pervasive across the food service industry. Make sure you consider your legal options if you feel you are a victim of racial discrimination at your job.

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