Chapter 6

Chapter 6
Race and Color
Copyright © 2012 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Learning Objectives
 Discuss and give details on the history of race
discrimination and civil rights in the United
 Explain the relevance of the history of civil rights
to present-day workplace race discrimination
 Set forth the findings of several recent studies
on race inequalities
Learning Objectives
 Identify several ways that race and color
discrimination are manifested in the workplace
 Explain why national origin issues have recently
been included under race discrimination claims
by the EEOC
 Describe ways in which an employer can avoid
potential liability for race and color discrimination
 Race is the first of the prohibited categories in
Title VII
 A 2008 USA Today/Gallup poll found
 51 percent of whites, 59 percent of Hispanics, and 78
percent of blacks thought that racism against blacks
is widespread
 Race discrimination claims account for one-third
of the EEOC total claims
Evolving Definitions of Race
 With regard to Title VII, race has been almost
exclusively about African-Americans and whites
 Discrimination against other groups considered
primarily under the national origin category
 Race vs. national origin
EEOC’s Revised Race/National Origin
 New forms of discrimination are emerging
 Issue of race discrimination in America is
 EEOC receives race and color discrimination
charges alleging multiple or intersecting
prohibited bases such as age, disability, gender,
national origin, and religion
EEOC’s E-RACE Initiative
 Why Do We Need E-RACE?
 Most frequently filed claims with the EEOC are issues
related to race
 2005 Gallup poll
 31 percent of Asian Americans surveyed reported
having witnessed or experienced incidents of
 Color discrimination is on the rise
EEOC’s Revised Race Guidance
 Title VII’s prohibition encompasses
 Ancestry
 Physical characteristics
 Race-linked illness
 Culture and perception
 Association
 Subgroup or “race plus”
 “Reverse” race discrimination
EEOC’s National Origin Guidance
 Employment Decisions
 Harassment
 Accent discrimination
 English fluency and English-only rules
 Coverage of foreign nationals
 Discrimination against individual is prohibited
regardless of citizenship
Present-day Race Issues
 The “new racism”
 Study of intentional workplace discrimination
released by Alfred and Ruth Blumrosen in 2002
 15 percent of African-Americans experience
intentional workplace discrimination
 Eastman Kodak Co. – proactive pay raises
 Awareness and knowledge of past history are
Background of Racial Discrimination in
the U.S.
 The long history of racial discrimination has
present-day effects
 Slavery lasted for over 200 years until after the
Civil War ended in 1865
 After Reconstruction Slave Codes were simply
renamed “Black Codes”
 Jim Crow laws
 Legalized and codified racial discrimination
Background of Racial Discrimination in
the U.S.
 Segregated public schools were outlawed by the
U.S. Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of
Education in 1954
 Blacks were not admitted into many schools until
much later
 Civil Rights Acts of 1964
 Voting Rights Act of 1965
Race: Putting It All Together
 U.S. Department of Labor Glass Ceiling Studies
in 1991 and 1995
 “Glass ceiling” exists beyond which minorities rarely
 An employer must analyze and monitor
workplace information based on “glass ceiling”
 Race discrimination can be discovered and
addressed before it progresses to litigation
General Considerations
 Title VII was enacted primarily in response to
discrimination against blacks in the country, but
the act applies equally to all
 Race discrimination against any group is equally
prohibited under Title VII
 McDonald v. Santa Fe Transportation
Recognizing Race Discrimination
 The latest EEOC statistics for FY 2010
 35.890 percent of the total charges were based on
 Employers often unable to recognize behaviors
that may be interpreted as race discrimination
Recognizing Race Discrimination
 Unusual manifestations of race discrimination
 Vaughn v. Edel
 Bradley v. Pizzaco of Nebraska, Inc., d/b/a Domino’s
 Chandler v. Fast Lane, Inc.
Racial Harassment
 To hold an employer liable for racial harassment,
the employee must show that the harassment
 Unwelcome
 Based on race
 So severe or pervasive that it altered the conditions of
employment and created an abusive environment
 There is a basis for imposing liability on the employer
Racial Harassment
 May arise from the employer imposing terms or
conditions of employment based on race
 Best approach for employers
 Maintain a workplace where such activities are not
 Take all racial harassment complaints seriously
 Take immediate corrective action
A Word About Color
 Color is one of the five categories included in
Title VII as a prohibited basis for discrimination.
 Color has been a divisive issue for as long as
African-Americans have been in the U.S.
 Color discrimination can exist among people of
the same race
 Color still matters a great deal in the workplace
EEOC’s Color Guidance
 What is “Color” Discrimination?
 Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on
 The statute does not define “color”
 It occurs when a person is discriminated against
based on the lightness, darkness, or other color
 Race and color are not synonymous
Management Tips
 Be willing to believe and investigate racial
 Use a top-down message that race
discrimination will not be tolerated in any form
 Be open to discussing issues concerning race
 Be aware of cultural differences and encourage
Management Tips
 Take reports of racial discrimination from
employees seriously
 Recognize and resolve simple
 Offer support groups, if needed
Management Tips
 Offer training in racial awareness and sensitivity
 Constantly monitor workplace hiring,
termination, training, promotion, raises, and
discipline to ensure fairness
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