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Employees can fight racial discrimination in the workplace

Race-based discrimination is an employment issue across the nation as well as a social ill. Many steps have been taken to eliminate racism in the last 50 years, but many employees still find inappropriate behavior may await them in the office.

California has a reputation as a progressive state, with its many laws protecting African Americans and other races from workplace discrimination and other forms of prejudice. In a recent year, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported nearly 7 percent of racial discrimination complaints recorded nationwide were from the Golden State.

Common examples of workplace discrimination based on race include termination, demotion, failure to promote someone or provide benefits to someone based on his or her skin color. Lesser offenses, such as verbal abuse and harassment, are also actionable under California law.

Members of racial minorities can protect themselves from recurring acts of discrimination before taking an issue to court. Victims should gather evidence in any form of documentation possible. It may also be a good idea to ask others if they have suffered similarly, as multiple victims may connect a pattern of instances.

A company's human resources department should offer an immediate response to accusations of discrimination, such as suspending an employee or manager who has been acting inappropriately. The EEOC or California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) will also accept a formal complaint of discrimination.

If discrimination has escalated or not ceased, the best option is to contact an attorney. Legal counsel can examine evidence and allegations of racial discrimination. A lawyer is also recommended if it is time to bring a case for damages, reinstatement or other desired result to a civil court.

Source: HG.org, "Racial Discrimination in California: Statistics and Tips," Rodney Mesriani, accessed June 14, 2018

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