Author: Jill Gormley, Strong and Clear Communications
Race discrimination in the workplace is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Discrimination can be overt, such as failing to promote an individual because of his or her race, but race discrimination can also occur where the employer enacted policies that while not discriminatory in intent had a disparate negative impact on employees of a particular race. An employer also may be liable for race discrimination if an employee suffers harassment on the basis of race in the workplace. Defending a case of race discrimination or harassment is disruptive and expensive, even if the employer is ultimately found not to be liable. Prevention is the best way to avoid this situation. A well-crafted, rigorously enforced antidiscrimination policy, ongoing training and policy review, and a top-to-bottom commitment to creating and maintaining a workplace free from discrimination can offer substantial protection against race discrimination claims.