A study of U.S. employees conducted by the Gallup Center revealed that 24% of Black workers experienced discrimination. About 24% of Hispanic employees also reported workplace discrimination, as reported by Gallup.com. The study covered a two-year span between 2020 and 2021.
Out of the more than 3,500 White employees surveyed, 15% reported that they experienced discrimination at work. Black employees, however, had a higher perception that their racial or ethnic background contributed to their discrimination.
Race or ethnicity alone could lead to discrimination
Approximately 75% of Black employees who experienced discrimination at work claimed race alone was the cause of it. The degree of mistreatment remained constant for Black workers regardless of their income, age or gender.
The response from Hispanic employees showed that 61% believed their race or ethnicity caused it. Survey responses from White employees showed that 42% believed their race or ethnicity influenced the discrimination they experienced at work.
Discrimination based on race or ethnicity remains forbidden by law
Federal laws prohibit discriminating against job applicants and employees based on race or ethnicity. As noted by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employers cannot hire or fire someone based on their skin color or complexion. The law also forbids employers from demoting or laying off workers because of their race or ethnicity. If an employer demands greater productivity from a Black or Hispanic worker than other employees, it could qualify as discrimination.
Employees experiencing mistreatment who believe it stems from their race, ethnicity or national origin may have grounds for legal action. Federal and Washington State labor laws prohibit retaliation against employees who file complaints.