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Reviewing examples of racial discrimination in the workplace

Racial discrimination in the workplace is a serious issue. Unfortunately, it can have harmful effects on employees and create a toxic work environment.

It is important to recognize and understand examples of racial discrimination in order to address and prevent such behavior.

Hiring, pay and promotions

One common example of racial discrimination in the workplace is hiring bias. This occurs when job applicants receive unfair treatment based on their race or ethnicity. Employers may favor candidates of a certain race over others, leading to a lack of diversity in the workplace and limiting opportunities for minority groups.

Another example is unequal pay or promotion opportunities based on race. Employees of different racial backgrounds may receive less pay or become passed over for promotions compared to their colleagues, even if they have the same qualifications and experience. In fact, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says that it is against the law to treat employees unfairly because of their spouse’s racial background. This type of discrimination can create feelings of frustration and demoralization among employees.


Harassment and hostile work environments are also examples of racial discrimination. This can include racial slurs, jokes or offensive comments directed at individuals because of their race. Such behavior can create a hostile and uncomfortable workplace. It can lead to stress, anxiety and a decline in overall well-being. Microaggressions are subtle, often unintentional actions or comments. These can include dismissive remarks, stereotypes or assumptions that undermine the abilities and contributions of employees from diverse racial backgrounds.

Addressing racial discrimination in the workplace requires a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Employers should implement anti-discrimination policies, provide diversity training for employees and create a culture of respect and acceptance for individuals of all racial backgrounds.