Steps to Take if You Suspect Racial Discrimination in Your Workplace

Steps to Take if You Suspect Racial Discrimination in Your Workplace

Racial discrimination is against the law, but that does not prevent it from being unfortunately common in the workplace. Still, it may come as a shock to encounter a racist business owner, supervisor, or fellow employee. To protect yourself and your rights, our Illinois race discrimination lawyers explain the various types of racism in the workplace you are likely to encounter and the steps to take in this situation. 

What Constitutes Racial Discrimination?

The Illinois Human Rights Act (775 ILCS 5/) is designed to protect workers and prevent racism and other types of discrimination in the workplace. Unfortunately, it still happens on a regular basis. It can take obvious forms, such as derogatory comments and communications between employers. However, it is often subtle and something many businesses are likely to keep a secret. To protect yourself, be aware of what constitutes racial discrimination under both state and federal law:  

  • Targeting job applications to a specific race;
  • Factoring in race in hiring decisions and in determining types of jobs assigned to workers;
  • Discriminating against workers based on race in terms of hours or wages;
  • Failing to promote workers of a certain race, despite them being qualified;
  • Firing employees for racist reasons or due to the fact they complained about discrimination on the job.   

What to Do if You Suspect Racial Discrimination on the Job

If you are the target of racism on the job or suspect racist work policies are negatively impacting you or your coworkers, it is important to take certain steps in addressing the situation. These include: 

  • Communicate any racial harassment you are subjected to: One of the legal criteria for racial harassment is that the behavior is unwelcome. Avoid ignoring this situation, as it could impact your rights in a discrimination lawsuit. 
  • Document your suspicions: Whether it involves verbal harassment or racist policies in the workplace, keep detailed records regarding any incidents.
  • Report it to your supervisor:  Make your immediate supervisor aware of the situation in writing.
  • Follow up with the employer: If your supervisor fails to respond or take action, communicate your concerns in writing to the employer. 
  • Discuss the matter with other employees: if safe to do so, find out if other people in the workplace share your concerns. 
  • Contact our Illinois racial discrimination lawyer: We can guide you in filing a complaint with the Illinois Human Rights Commission while protecting you against adverse actions in the workplace. 

Contact Our Illinois Race Discrimination Lawyers and Request a Confidential Consultation

If you suspect or are the victim of racial discrimination in the workplace, reach out to The Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline immediately. We can take the legal actions needed to protect you while holding your employer accountable for their actions and those of other employees. Call or contact our Illinois race discrimination lawyers online and request a confidential consultation today.