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A subtle sign of employment discrimination

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Employment Law

If your name “sounds black,” you may not receive an employment callback as frequently as Rhode Island job applicants with a “white-sounding” name. A recent study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Chicago expanded on a two-decade-old study that used fictitious names to demonstrate job discrimination.

How your name affects your job chances

The initial study from two decades ago showed that fictitious applicants with white names got 50% more callbacks for interviews than those who had ethnic black names. The more recent study took that employment discrimination premise and expanded upon it. Researchers filed 83,000 fake job applications for 11,000 entry-level positions at a variety of Fortune 500 companies. Although the discrimination levels didn’t reach those of the initial study, they still found that applicants presumed to be white received 9% to 24% more callbacks than those assumed to be black.

The research names 97 offending companies. Among the names included in the research were Brad and Greg against Darnell and Lamar and Amanda and Kristen when compared with Ebony and Latoya. The research focused primarily on entry-level applicants, but researchers believe several patterns emerged that transcended the applicant level. Federal contractors, profitable companies and businesses with more centralized human resources departments called back black applicants at higher rates. The sex of applicants appeared to have no bearing.

What you should do if confronted with this situation

Although many areas of our society are more accepting of different beliefs, others continue to find subtle ways to express discrimination. You may never realize how your employer has discriminated against you, but others may. Enlisting the help of professionals can help you determine whether you have a solid claim. The best thing you can do in these situations is to gather as much evidence as possible.

When you gather evidence to support your claim, you have a better chance of winning in court. Discovering subtle discrimination claims can be difficult as many individuals don’t want to be tabbed as racist. Closely examine any claims you have and work with professional counsel to determine if your claims are valid.