When you think about racism, you may imagine people of color who struggle with unfair biases due to the color of their skin. While that is who is most often affected by racial discrimination, the law actually does protect people of all colors against unfair treatment due to the color of their skin.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, you are protected against being treated differently at work on the basis of your race. Whether you’re Black, white or another race, you have the law on your side if you’re being discriminated against in the workplace.
Anybody can be the target of racial discrimination
Racial discrimination looks the same regardless of the color of the skin of the people involved. For example, if a white person is working in a company heavily populated by Asian people who are using degrading stereotypes about whites, then that worker might have a case for a discrimination claim.
For some white people who come from other countries, there may be an element of discrimination that is based on their ethnicity. For example, anti-Polish sentiments and xenophobia in some communities has been well-documented over time. So, too, have Italians and Irish people experienced racial discrimination in some communities. At times, racial discrimination has involved two different ethnic groups that are both objectively caucasian.
At a minimum, it is important for employers and employees to understand that no one, regardless of color or background, should be discriminated against on the job. Whether discriminatory acts happen against a white, Black, Asian, indigenous person or anybody else, it is unacceptable. Employees have a right to work in safe, welcoming environments, and a workplace filled with discrimination is not that.
Our website has more information on racial discrimination and other employment law issues that you may be interested in learning more about.