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3 verbal signs of racial discrimination at work

On Behalf of | Jul 11, 2023 | Racial Discrimination At Work

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Being discriminated against at work can create a hostile environment for you. And this can significantly affect your career. Your seniors or colleagues might treat you unfairly because of your identity, including race/skin color. 

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) prohibits treating someone unfavorably because of their personal characteristics associated with race, including hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features.

This can happen through actions or statements. Below are three verbal signs that may indicate racial discrimination.

“You people and “Us”

Divisive language at work can be uncomfortable, and in many cases, it’s used when talking about identities, including race. You should be concerned when people in the office use “you people” or “us.” They may be passing judgment or stating stereotypes about a race you belong to. 

Verbal abuse

Race discrimination in the workplace may be apparent. Someone can openly make derogatory statements about your race or skin color.

Simple teasing or offhand comments may not be illegal, especially from people you consider friends in the office. However, if someone keeps making disrespectful remarks, even after you have asked them to stop, you may be experiencing racial discrimination.

Questions about your race

Of course, there are numerous stereotypes about different races. However, it may be discriminatory for your colleague or employer to ask you about them, particularly in a disrespectful manner, or when it’s accompanied by divisive statements, such as, “Is it true that you people…”  

Even though it’s crucial to acknowledge cultural differences at work and learn about each other’s identities, some questions can be discriminatory.

If you have experienced any verbal sign discussed above, you may have been racially discriminated against at work. Consider getting legal guidance to know your rights and legal options.