Allred, Maroko & Goldberg

Despite our physical office location being closed due to the COVID-19 Order, we are all working remotely and are available to take your calls and website inquiries. If you believe that you were unlawfully terminated during the Coronavirus crisis, call us for a free confidential consultation with one of our attorneys.

More Blacks than Whites believe racism exists at their jobs

If you hear a racist-sounding remark at work, you might want to report it to human resources. HR is on the front line when it comes to reports of racial discrimination and harassment. So, you might expect them to know whether racism is a problem at your workplace.

Yet Black HR staffers are much more likely than Whites to identify racism as a problem in their workplaces, according to a recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management.

The organization surveyed nearly 1,300 human resources professionals and found:

  • 49% of Black HR representatives, versus 13% of White HR representatives, believe that racism or ethnicity-based discrimination occurs at their workplace.
  • 61% of Black HR reps believe that rude comments and slights occur in their workplaces, while only 44% of White HR reps thought so.
  • 68% of Black HR reps said their companies weren’t doing enough to provide Black employees with opportunities, as opposed to 35% of White HR reps.

The difference of views wasn’t only among HR professionals. The Society also surveyed over 1,250 workers and found stark contrasts between the beliefs of Whites and Blacks.

  • 35% of Black workers indicated they saw racial inequality at their job, while only 7% of Whites said that.
  • 33% of Black workers said they didn’t feel respected at work, while only 18% of White workers felt that way.

The area of agreement? Equal percentages of Black and White workers (37%) said they felt uncomfortable discussing the issue of race on the job.

These results didn’t surprise one San Jose-based Black consultant who used to work in HR and now helps companies build anti-racist work environments. She told MarketWatch that Black employees tended to seek her out even if they weren’t assigned to her. Sometimes, this was because White HR reps hadn’t been responsive -- or because the Black employees feared they wouldn’t be.

The consultant pointed out that Human Resources professionals are not trained on how to resolve racial tensions or discrimination complaints. Their training is more geared toward answering questions and working to retain employees.

Now could be an enormous period of opportunity

Many workplaces have traditionally shied away from addressing race head-on. This may have contributed to the problem.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, between 2015 and 2019, toxic workplaces cost U.S. companies $223 billion -- up 24% from the period between 2008 and 2012.

One of America’s great promises is that people are to be treated equally regardless of race and are to be measured by the content of their character. America presently seems to be experiencing a real reckoning with racism. Companies have a huge opportunity to address this longstanding problem. How can your workplace begin to have honest conversations about race?

If you have experienced race discrimination at work, contact an attorney to discuss your rights and options.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact Us for a Confidential Review of Your Case

Do you believe you are a victim of an employee rights violation or other injustice? Contact our firm for a case evaluation. Ask about our experience with confidential pre-litigation settlements and our previous courtroom successes.
We can be reached in Los Angeles at 323-302-4774 and New York at 212-202-2966.
Se Habla Español

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us

Allred, Maroko & Goldberg

Los Angeles
6300 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1500
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Fax: 323-653-1660
Map & Directions

New York
305 Broadway, Suite 607
New York, NY 10007

Phone: 212-202-2966
Map & Directions