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Coronavirus myths linked to racial discrimination

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2020 | Racial Discrimination At Work

Novel coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, is a real public health concern for many people in Florida. However, myths and prejudices about the disease have also led to troubling instances of discrimination against Asian and Asian American workers on the job. The spread of the virus and the threat of a growing epidemic have led to many concerns about how to handle workplace issues, including safety concern, mandatory closures and time off from work. At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has underlined that the risk to the American public as a whole is low. In many cases, the risk of typical influenza is much higher and more deadly.

After the disease emerged in Wuhan, China, coronavirus misinformation has led to instances of racial discrimination. Some clients and employers have requested not to work with people from China or to demand that people who visited China, overwhelmingly people of Chinese descent, be kept away from the workplace, even if they did not spend any time in a city affected by the virus. The CDC issued an instruction reminding workplaces of their obligations under federal civil rights law to prevent discrimination at work, highlighting the fact that people of Asian descent are no more likely than anyone else to have novel coronavirus.

Anti-discrimination law prohibits discrimination based on a person’s ethnicity or perceived ethnic background. Therefore, Chinese and Chinese American workers have a right to be protected from harassment, discriminatory conduct and prejudice affecting hiring, job duties, promotion and termination at work.

A number of Asian employees have reported mistreatment and discrimination due to coronavirus misinformation. Workers who have faced unlawful discrimination on the job may seek Boca Raton, Florida, workplace racial discrimination legal assistance in order to take action and protect their rights.