Racial discrimination can refer to a variety of behaviors that are prohibited in the workplace, including racial slurs, racially offensive jokes and stereotyping based on race. It is also illegal to discriminate in the hiring process because of race. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides workers in Rhode Island and nationwide with protection from race discrimination in the workplace. Both federal and state laws offer protections against race discrimination. Workers should be aware that they do not have to tolerate racial discrimination in the hiring process or workplace.
Additionally, workers cannot be reprimanded, demoted, terminated or subjected to other forms of negative treatment based on their race, national origin, ethnicity or color, as this may be considered workplace race discrimination. Employers are also prohibited from retaliating against an employee based on race or if the employee has reported prohibited or illegal race discrimination in the workplace.
In general, employers cannot refuse to hire an employee based on their race; cannot fire or discipline an employee based on their race; cannot pay an employee less because of their race; cannot offer fewer benefits to an employee because of their race; fail to provide benefits, promotions or other opportunities in the workplace because of the employee’s race; or improperly classify or segregate employees or applicants for employment based on race.
The legal system provides important legal rights to protect applicants and employees from racial discrimination. It is essential that employees know how to avail themselves of these protections if they have been victims of racial discrimination in the workplace.