Racial discrimination at work is an incredibly sensitive and difficult thing to deal with.
Racial discrimination is an incredibly serious matter and one that employees are protected against under discrimination law as a protected characteristic in the Equality Act 2010.
This means that whether it’s direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment, or victimisation, you’re protected under the law.
Employers have a responsibility to ensure that they do as much as they can to protect their employees and prevent racial discrimination in the workplace.
What Amounts To Racial Discrimination At Work?
The law recognises that anyone who discriminates against someone else at work is responsible for their own actions.
So, if a specific person, whether that’s a manager, an employee, or anyone else at work has racially discriminated against you, they are responsible for what has happened.
But racial discrimination can take many forms and knowing what constitutes discrimination or not can be difficult.
If any harassment, abuse, or behaviour relating to your race makes you feel humiliated, violates your dignity, or can be regarded as offensive, degrading or intimidating, then this constitutes racial discrimination.
Whether the intention was to cause harm or not is irrelevant – if the outcome is that you feel that you’ve been discriminated against because of your race, this could be classed as racial discrimination.
If you’re not sure whether something that has occurred amounts to racial discrimination or not, the best thing you can do is seek legal advice before doing anything else.
Indirect Or Direct Racial Discrimination
The Equality Act protects you against discrimination and states that you mustn’t be discriminated against because of your race, as well as other protected characteristics.
Direct discrimination is when you’re treated unfairly or negatively because of your race, which could mean that you’ve been overlooked for a job or a promotion despite being the best-qualified candidate.
Indirect discrimination is where the criteria of something has a discriminatory effect on you because of your race, so while it’s not specifically directed at you, it has a negative effect on you because of your race.
Harassment Or Victimisation Racial Discrimination
When it comes to racial discrimination, there is more than one type – it’s not just direct and indirect. There is also victimisation and harassment:
- Victimisation occurs when you’ve been treated badly because you’ve made a complaint about discrimination relating to race or even if you’ve supported someone who has made a complaint.
- Harassment is where you feel intimidated, humiliated, degraded or that a hostile environment has been created by someone’s behaviour. Perhaps someone keeps making inappropriate jokes about your race, for example.
Examples Of Racial Discrimination At Work
Racial discrimination at work can take many forms.
For example, if you’re put at a disadvantage because of your race, the race of someone you know (this is known as discrimination by association) or your perceived race (discrimination by perception), then this is racial discrimination.
It might be that you as an Asian person are the most qualified candidate for the job, but a white candidate is hired instead of you.
Or it may be that you as a white British person are overlooked for the chance to work with a new client because your partner is black, and it could be an issue for the client – this is known as discrimination by association.
If you think you’ve been subject to racial discrimination at work, you should seek legal advice. That might be through your union representative, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, or an expert racial discrimination solicitor.
Making A Racial Discrimination Claim
If you need any help, advice, or assistance with employment issues relating to making a racial discrimination claim, we’re here to help.
At Solicitors Near Me, we connect you with expert employment solicitors near to where you live for FREE.
Yep, there’s no obligation to proceed with them when we connect, so whatever you decide to do, there’s no need to commit until you’re ready.