Not All Acts of Race Discrimination Are Easy to Spot 

5 Ways Race Discrimination Goes Unnoticed in the Workplace

Race discrimination in the workplace has been occurring since the beginning of time. While federal and state laws prohibit all forms of race discrimination, employers may still try to find ways to get away with it. However, they try to be a bit craftier and hide their actions.

Whether blatantly out in the open or more subtle, race discrimination in the workplace is illegal. Protect yourself by knowing the five most common ways race discrimination goes unnoticed in the workplace.

1. You Are Stereotyped Based on Your Race 

People often have biases regarding things they do not truly understand. Racial bias is quite common amongst people of different races. These biases lead to stereotypes.  

Stereotypes can seem harmless. For example, you may assume your African American coworker has a high school education, although he holds an advanced degree in economics. As a result, you assume that he works in the mailroom. You are shocked and embarrassed when you learn that he is the new accountant for the firm.  

While this case may not have a lasting effect on your coworker or his employment, stereotypes can actually prohibit employees from obtaining their proper position or pay once employed. 

2. Your Employers Display Implicit Bias Towards You and Other Members of Your Race 

Biases are often subconscious. Therefore, employers may not realize they are displaying any form of implicit bias against employees based on their race. However, implicit bias can be a form of race discrimination that is commonly swept under the rug. 

You may be assigned specific tasks that employers believe are more appropriate for you based on your race. They do not realize that they are doing so. Therefore, if you confront them about it, they may deny their actions or apologize profusely because they were not aware they were acting out of bias.  

3. Your Supervisors Are Often Very Critical of Your Work 

Racist supervisors will find ways to target employees based on race without looking as though they are targeting you for those reasons. Therefore, they may be overly critical of your work, telling you they know you can do better and expect better from you.  

Many times, these criticisms are only directed towards people within your race category. However, you are not docked pay, demoted, transferred, or forced into any other negative employment action as a result. Instead, their excessive criticism makes your daily life a little harder and makes it uncomfortable to work.  

4. You Never Have the Right Qualifications for A Promotion 

You notice that all your managers and supervisors are of a certain race. You, and others of your race, never seem to have the proper qualifications for a promotion within the workplace. However, you have watched others of a different race get promoted even though they did not work for the company quite as long, have a bachelor’s degree instead of a master’s, or have been written up several times for poor behavior at work. 

Being consistently passed over for a promotion may appear legitimate on the surface. However, once you and others dig into the issue, you may find a clear case of race discrimination in your workplace.  

5. You Are Left Out of Events and Gatherings 

Your coworkers may plan events and gatherings that are not workplace gatherings. They simply want to get together and enjoy a night out together. Yet, they never invite you. They assume you and others within your race in the workplace would not enjoy these events or gatherings.  

The assumption is a form of subtle race discrimination. Each person is different. They have different likes and desires. Assuming someone’s race would preclude them from enjoying a gathering or event can lead employers down a very slippery slope. 

What Can You Do If You Experience Subtle Race Discrimination at Work? 

No matter how overt or subtle it may be, race discrimination in the workplace is illegal. Therefore, if you experience even subtle racial discrimination in the workplace, you have a right to fight back and demand justice.  

Your first step to stop such actions would be to file a written complaint with your employer, HR team, or union representative. However, if this tactic does not help stop the discrimination, you have a right to seek legal help. A qualified race discrimination lawyer can help you fight back against racial discrimination in the workplace and get the compensation and justice you deserve.  

Questions? Contact DSLG Employment Lawyers to Request a Free Case Review. 

Facing subtle race discrimination at work is still racial discrimination. You have the right to fight against it. The dedicated race discrimination lawyer at the Derek Smith Law Group in New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Miami, and Los Angeles can help. Call us at 800.807.2209 for a free consultation 

About Derek Smith

Attorney Derek T. Smith is an experienced sexual harassment & discrimination law litigator who has particular experience in the areas of workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, civil rights litigation, employment law and civil litigation.

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