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Recognize subtle racism in the workplace

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2022 | Employment Law |

It shouldn’t happen any longer, but even with laws and protections in place, racial discrimination does still affect people throughout America. Sometimes, racial discrimination isn’t as obvious as you would think it would be, which can make it hard to know when to make a claim.

There could be subtle signs of racism in your workplace that aren’t particularly obvious but that could be hurting you. Here are a few signs to watch out for.

3 signs of covert racism                          

Covert racism, or subtle racism, is racism that is typically indirect or expressed through innuendos. It might be hard to directly accuse someone of racism because their actions are on the borderline.

Subtle discrimination could come in a few forms, such as:

  1. Someone mentioning you or those you care about as “those people,” or “one of them,” which might elude to you being in a specific race or group of people based in stereotypes
  2. Saying they can’t fire you because the law protects you
  3. Making comments about where you live and it being “on the wrong side of the tracks,” or “in the ghetto.”

These kinds of covert racism might not be readily apparent and may seem like nothing more than someone being rude, but they can be a sign of a much larger problem in your workplace.

Racial discrimination has no place in the workplace

Anywhere in the U.S., you are protected against racism and racist comments in your workplace. Employers have a responsibility to have respectful, safe work environments available for their employees. If a coworker is regularly racist or if workplace policies negatively impact people of a certain race or culture, then those problems need to be addressed.

You deserve to be treated fairly and respectfully

Covert racism and racist macroaggressions may not always be obvious, but they still aren’t something that workers should have to deal with. If you are dealing with microaggressions or racism at work, talk to your human resources department, a supervisor or your employer. If they cannot take action to resolve the problem, then you may want to look into your legal options.