Racial Discrimination in America’s Workplaces Exposed

Fight Workplace Discrimination Racial Discrimination in America’s Workplaces Exposed

Plus Ça Change—The Extent of Workplace Racial Discrimination in America

Despite decades of progress and anti-discrimination legislation, racial discrimination in the workplace remains widespread in the U.S.

If you are experiencing or witnessing work-related racial discrimination in America, DoNotPay can help you with facts, trends, and advice to fight your case!

What Is the History of Racial Discrimination in America’s Workplaces?

Workplace discrimination based on race has been around since the first European settlers arrived on the continent.


It continued after the Emancipation Proclamation and reached its peak in the public consciousness in the early 1960s.

The civil rights movement of that decade resulted in the passing of several landmark anti-discrimination laws that attempted to make racial employment discrimination in the United States a thing of the past. The most important of these was Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1963, which made it illegal to discriminate against anybody at work based on:

What Does Title VII of the Civil Rights Act Say?

Title VII aims to combat the most common forms of employment discrimination, including:

Type of Discrimination Explanation
De jure discrimination Any policy or procedure in a company that aims to treat individuals or groups differently because of their race is de jure discrimination
De facto discrimination De fact discrimination occurs when common practice in a company results in discrimination against an individual or group, despite anti-discrimination policies being in place
Wage discrimination Under the terms of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act of 1963, all employees must be paid the same amount for doing the same work
Harassment The Civil Rights Act prohibits all forms of sexual, verbal, email, and cyber harassment at work
Retaliation If you complain about racial discrimination at work, your employer cannot retaliate against you in any way

How Widespread Is Racism and Discrimination in America’s Workplaces Today?

The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) is the federal body enforcing anti-discrimination laws in the U.S.

As the first port of call for victims of racial discrimination at work, it is the best source for statistics to determine the current extent of the problem.

Between 2017 and 2020, the EEOC received the following charges of discrimination, ranked in order of reason:

Discrimination Type 2017 2018 2019 2020
Race 28528 24600 23976 22064
Disability 26838 24605 24238 24324
Sex 25605 24655 23532 21398
Age 18376 16911 15573 14183
National Origin 8299 7106 7009 6377
Religion 3436 2859 2725 2404
Color 3240 3166 3415 3562
Equal Pay Act 996 1066 1117 980
Total Charges Received 84,254 76,418 72,675 67,448

Workplace racial discrimination was the most widespread basis for discrimination in 2017, only being overtaken by disability cases from 2019 onwards.

A study in 2019 by the Center for American Progress revealed the following points about the Black working population:

  1. Higher Black unemployment
  2. Worse access to jobs
  3. Fewer well-paying jobs
  4. Growing wealth gap

Higher Black Unemployment

The study revealed that unemployment rates in the Black population are considerably higher than among white workers.

Worse Access to Jobs

The employment rate for Black workers lay at 75.7% up to October 2019, compared to 80.8% for white workers, suggesting that Black workers faced lower job accessibility than their white counterparts.

Fewer Well-Paying Jobs

Median earnings for Black workers in 2019 stood at $727 a week, compared to $943 for white workers. Lower average wages were compounded by worse benefits packages.

Growing Wealth Gap

Wealth among white workers is climbing at double the rate of that of Black workers, meaning that an already-wide wealth gap is growing every year.

What Can You Do if You Are a Victim of Racial Discrimination at Work?

The problem is widespread, and you may find yourself—like many others—a victim of racial discrimination at work.

If this is the case, you have several options to combat the discrimination.

Your employer is your first port of call. You should raise the issue with your supervisor and your HR department—making sure that your grievances are logged officially and not swept under the carpet.

If this fails to yield results, you need to escalate your case by lodging a complaint with the EEOC.

Your complaint, or charge of discrimination, is the start of a process during which the EEOC may:

  • Inform your employer of the charge
  • Investigate your allegations
  • Suggest a mediated settlement
  • Launch a lawsuit against your employer
  • Give you permission to use a discrimination lawyer to start private legal action

The more detail and hard evidence you can bring to bear, the better your chances of a satisfactory outcome. If you win a settlement or a court case against your employer, your compensation could include:

  • Reimbursement of lost pay and benefits
  • Damages for emotional trauma
  • Compensation for your legal costs
  • Punitive damages against your employer

The EEOC is the expert in fighting racial discrimination cases, but filing your charge of discrimination can be a complex process. Your local EEOC office may want you to attend an interview before they accept your complaint. DoNotPay has the answer—we can help you get your charge filed in three easy steps!

Fight Racial Discrimination With DoNotPay’s Help

DoNotPay can help you initiate your fight for fair treatment quickly and easily!

All you need to do to file your charge of discrimination with the EEOC is:

  1. Sign up with DoNotPay in your web browser
  2. Go to our Fight Workplace Discrimination product
  3. Fill out the details of your case

DoNotPay can handle the rest. Your charge will be filed, and the EEOC will contact you to discuss your next steps.

Thinking About Hiring a Lawyer? Think Again!

After you report discrimination in the workplace, you can only hope everything will turn out great. We sure hope so too, but having a backup plan doesn’t hurt. If the report with the EEOC backfires, getting a lawyer will be the next logical step.

While you may understand the importance of professional legal help, you might be surprised by how much our virtual lawyer can do for you. Thanks to advanced AI technology, our app can assist you with:

By subscribing to DoNotPay, you won’t have to waste hundreds of dollars on lawyers for the help you can get for a few bucks!

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