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Racial Discrimination in Employment in the US Research Paper


It is important to note that the issue of race discrimination has been widely discussed by scientists over the last few years, and it is especially problematic in the United States. It needs to be said that any situation where an individual is treated unfairly based on his or her race can be viewed as discrimination. An impact of racism and discrimination is quite significant, and it affects all the areas including the workplace. Also, some jobs and industries are dominated strictly by white people. This is a significant issue that is not going to be solved anytime soon because workplace discrimination has been formed over many years. However, many people of color are extremely successful and operate in different sectors of business.

Significantly, there is currently no consensus on what is the primary cause of racial discrimination in most situations (Midtboen 193). Some people of color are frequently mistreated in the workplace and are intentionally excluded from activities that would help improve their skills and allow them to gain useful experience in the workplace. The black employees often feel underappreciated, and they are made to think that whatever work they do it is never enough. Incredibly, some jobs are apparently viewed specific to a particular race, for example, for people of color low-paid jobs are viewed as more appropriate. This should not be acceptable (Skaggs and Bridges 406).

The fact that some resumes are ignored because the name suggests it has an African-American origin is a major issue that needs to be addressed. Another problem is that some individuals believe that it is necessary to make sure that additional measures of safety are taken in case people of color are present in the workplace. Singling out particular individuals and being suspicious towards people of color is also highly questionable.

Interestingly, the behavior of supervisors is frequently influenced by the perceived difficulty of a particular job, and race normally plays a relatively small role. However, the employers that have experience working with people of color understand that some of the stereotypes are simply not true, and look for qualified professionals with no race bias (Ward 240). In this study, people of different ages were questioned to get a better understanding of the way racial discrimination in employment is perceived by most. Many also feel like racial bias is present when accidents happen in the workplace environment, and they are regarded as guilty even without evidence in most cases. Such situations frequently lead to depression, and some individuals cannot deal with such tension. Another issue is that people of color suffer the most during the periods of unemployment, and the process of finding a job becomes much more complicated in most situations.

Racial harassment during the employment process and in the workplace is also a critical issue that needs to be addressed. The biggest problem is that most instances are not reported, but some of the actions are against the law. A work environment that is hostile to people of color can be viewed as extremely problematic. Some employment decisions can be extremely questionable in some cases, and it is especially true when an individual that is being discriminated against, is fired or has to deal with a penalty.

Unfair evaluations happen quite often, and it is especially problematic in sectors that are viewed as traditionally white (Sherry, Mong, and Roscigno Vincent 14). The financial area, in general, the police and firefighting stations, as well as the post offices and sometimes schools, were always viewed as examples of such sectors. Harassment from any individual in the workplace should not be regarded as acceptable, and one should not be afraid to defend their rights with no fear of being fired. Unfortunately, some people of color do not have a complete understanding of their rights, so these problems must be resolved by the government, which is here to protect the safety and well-being of all citizens (Chao and Willaby 678).

Currently, some workplaces can be viewed as extremely hostile towards black people, as they have to deal with constant harassment and discrimination on a daily basis. This issue becomes even more complicated when gender issues are introduced as well. The way some females are treated in the workplace may only be described as unfair, and some employees believe that women and blacks are suited only for particular jobs. Still, this is improving particularly when a person of color can demonstrate his or her knowledge during an interview. However, a significant percentage of black people have to deal with several challenges before they can get to that stage.

Another critical issue is that some of the decisions made by employers are subconscious, and it is imperative to understand that bias should be avoided at all cost in these situations. It is not an easy task to address this problem because the government cannot intentionally force employers to hire a certain percentage of people of color. Still, many organizations are focused on this problem. They take necessary measures to make sure that the workplace is a safe environment for people of color.

However, new forms of discrimination are frequently introduced because of the development of new technologies. Some people abuse the fact that messages on the Internet can be sent anonymously, and use it as a way to harass individuals in the workplace. The use of racial slurs is especially problematic and needs to be addressed with a use of such tools as language filters.

Many employers view people of color as less skilled and believe that they lack necessary knowledge for the job. Most individuals who were interviewed for a recent study believe that they are judged unfairly. Another study indicates that there is a significant wage gap between white and black workers, and it is approximately 33% (Fryer, Pager, & Spenkuch 2013). Such a difference is truly astounding and should not be viewed as acceptable in modern society. On the other hand, such factors as an enormous contrast between the levels of education have to be taken into account.

It is not an easy task for a person of color to find a job that is prestigious and well-paying because of such factors as stereotypes and bias. It is important to say that discrimination of any form based on the race should not be allowed, and it is imperative to take necessary measures to make sure that such behavior is not acceptable. One of the most significant problems surrounding this issue is that most employers believe that people of color are more likely to participate in criminal activities or have problems with attitude. It is understandable that one wants to avoid any conflicts in the workplace, but such views should be backed up by data and not based simply on stereotypes.

Although there is a general gap in the levels of education between blacks and whites, and it is important to say that numerous people of color are incredibly skilled and talented, and many companies limit their own opportunities of development with their hiring policies. Still, a difference in education is a critical factor that cannot be overlooked in most cases. The biggest problem is that many people of color cannot afford to pay for college, and graduation rates are usually lower. Many individuals that were able to receive a degree have to deal with a significant debt that is not easy to pay off. This situation may be worsened by economic crises, and other internal and external factors. Indeed, the wage gap compounds the problem, especially when low wages leads to economic segregation, with people of the same race forced to live in specific neighborhoods. The fact that most of these problems are combined often worsens the situation.

Even big companies frequently pay significant fines because of their questionable policies. It is obviously in the interest of any company to make sure that such incidents of bias are avoided because the damage to the image of the company is tremendous in most cases and it is hard to recover valuable customers. Still, many employees believe that people of color have different values and traditions, and it may hurt the culture of the company (Marcus 490). Most studies suggest that discrimination is one of the most significant issues that affect an ability of people of color to find well-paid jobs.

Also, there is a distinct dissimilarity in the treatment of people of color in the workplace between some regions, in most cases because of such factors as culture and traditions of racial profiling. It may also be necessary to educate employees on the topic. It is also important to understand that some of the questions that are asked during the job interviews may be incredibly inappropriate, and it is necessary to avoid them to make sure that no bias occurs. If a company’s employees do not have an understanding of how to behave, it may hurt the image of a particular company (Koesnadi and Kleiner 25).

It is quite evident that racism and discrimination are still present in the workplace because of various factors, particularly an ingrained culture after years of unfair treatment. Wage gap that is present leads to discomfort and depression in most cases (Darity 226). Racial equality should be regarded as one of the core objectives by the government, and necessary measures should be taken to ensure that people of color are provided with equal opportunities (Hirsh and Cha 1999).

The Interview

Twenty individuals have participated in a study, and the percentage of males and females were the same. The study also covered the information about previous work experience, research activities, and offers that were received (Fryer, Pager, and Spenkuch 646). Most of them are employed in different industries, but some were not employed at all. The sample size is relatively small, but the results are intriguing and here are some highlights of that research:

Do you believe that you earn less than white people?

Yes, I do. My colleagues have earned much more on my current and previous jobs.

Do you believe that you are treated differently by white employees?

No, I have excellent relationships with my co-workers, but it should be said that I had to deal with some issues in my previous jobs. The wage gap is a significant issue that causes some discomfort.

Do you think that you ever been fired because of your race?

No, I have left the jobs on my terms so far. However, I believe that some of the penalties that I had to deal with were extremely unfair.

Do you believe that you have to work more than your colleagues?

Yes, I do. The main issue is that I understand that employer expects much more from me than from other workers. I think that I am treated unfairly by supervisors and receive limited opportunities for promotion.

Do you believe that a significant progress in this area has been shown?

Yes, I agree that the difference is tremendous, but numerous problems are still present, and it would not be an easy task to address all of them.

Do you have any stories about discrimination in the workplace environment?

Yes. One of the employers has intentionally rejected numerous applications by people of color because of his personal hatred. It needs to be said that such behavior is extremely unreasonable and needs to be punished most of the time.

Do you think that you can support your family with the funds that are earned?

Yes, but it is not an easy task. I must say that I am currently single and often have to deal with issues related to employment.

The interviewee also believes that it is possible to address these problems. He insists that the government need to introduce policies that are stricter, and employers that are suspected should be monitored to make sure that the number of incidents of discrimination is limited.

Annotated Bibliography

Chao, Georgia T., and Harold W. Willaby. “International Employment Discrimination and Implicit Social Cognition: New Directions for Theory and Research.” Applied Psychology 56.4 (2007): 678-688. Print.

This source was especially interesting because the author suggests that interventions may be necessary to make sure that people of color are not treated differently during the process of employment in most situations (Chao and Willaby 678).

Darity, William A. “Employment Discrimination, Segregation, and Health.” American Journal of Public Health 93.2 (2003): 226-232. Print.

The author of this article explores the way discrimination in the workplace may affect the emotional state of an individual. It is believed that individuals that know that they are in control of a particular situation are likely to be much more successful than others (Darity 226).

Fryer, Roland G., Devah Pager, and Jörg L. Spenkuch. “Racial Disparities in Job Finding and Offered Wages.” Journal of Law and Economics 56.3 (2013): 633-689. Print

This article was useful because the author has listed various factors that have an influence on the decision-making process of employers, and has explained how current situation occurred. One of the most significant aspects that have been noted by the authors is that it is extremely likely that racial discrimination makes up one-third of all the reasons why people of color are paid less in most cases (Fryer, Pager, and Spenkuch 633). The research process that has been suggested is also interesting, and some of the factors were taken into account during the development of interview.

Hirsh, Elizabeth, and Youngjoo Cha. “Understanding Employment Discrimination: A Multilevel Approach.” Sociology Compass 2.6 (2008): 1989-2007. Print.

The source was extremely useful because it is mentioned that racist is frequently subtle, and factors that affect the views of a particular employer are also noted. It is emphasized that equal opportunities, which are available in the workplace, are especially important because it may help to resolve the issue of discomfort (Hirsh and Cha 1999).

Koesnadi, Gunawan, and Brian H. Kleiner. “The Need for Training to Avoid Lawsuits.” Managerial Law 44.1/2 (2002): 25-30. Print.

This article was particularly interesting because the author suggests that it is necessary to conduct pieces of training in most organizations because most employees lack the knowledge and understanding of how to deal with situations that are related to discrimination (Koesnadi and Kleiner 25).

Marcus, Justin. “Eradicating Employment Discrimination: Toward a Cultural Values Perspective.” Industrial and Organizational Psychology 6.4 (2013): 489-493. Print.

The source was essential during the research because the author has suggested that culture may play a significant role in the process of employment, and may have an impact on the decisions that are made (Marcus 490).

Midtboen, Arnfinn H. “The Context of Employment Discrimination: Interpreting the Findings of a Field Experiment.” The British Journal of Sociology 66.1 (2015): 193-214. Print.

This article had specific value during the research because the author mentions that most studies in this field have focused on the issues that are related to individual perception and have ignored numerous internal and external factors that may influence the decision-making process (Midtboen 193).

Sherry, Mong, and Roscigno Vincent. “African American Men and the Experience of Employment Discrimination.” Qualitative Sociology 33.1 (2010): 1-21. Print.

This source was extremely informative, and the authors have provided the necessary information in a comprehensive manner. The issue of harassment is suggested as one of the most significant issues that should not be disregarded in most cases (Sherry and Vincent 1).

Skaggs, Sheryl, and Jennifer Bridges. “Race and Sex Discrimination in the Employment Process.” Sociology Compass 7.5 (2013): 404-415. Print.

This article has been incredibly valuable for the research because the author has focused on such important aspects as compensations, promotions, and others. Recommendations for improvement are also suggested, and it is paramount to note that some of them are astounding. The authors have noted that discrimination based on the race is widespread during the hiring process (Skaggs and Bridges 406).

Thomas, Ward F. “The Meaning of Race to Employers.” The Sociological Quarterly 44.2 (2003): 227-242. Print.

This article has been very interesting and helpful for the research because the author has noted that the way skills of black people are perceived by employers are dynamic in most cases, and their opinions are frequently influenced by the situations in the workplace environment (Thomas 227). Views of other scientists are also explored, and it has been noted that there have been attempts to measure how the perception of different races affects the decision-making process of employers.

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