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Study: Race colors perceptions of workplace discrimination

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Hiring,Human Resources

A new national survey of 1,000 workers portrays sharply different views of how minorities are treated at work, and should serve as a wake-up call to employers.

One key finding: Whites are far more likely to believe that everyone is treated fairly, according to A Workplace Divided: How Americans View Discrimination and Race on the Job from the Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University and the University of Connecticut.

Nearly all white employees (94 percent) believe employment practices in hiring, promotion and salaries are fair to all. However, fewer than half (46 percent) of African-American employees and just 12 percent of workers of other races see the same level of fairness.

Also, while only 6 percent of white workers say they've personally experienced discriminatory treatment at work, far more African-Americans (28 percent) and Hispanic-Americans (22 percent) reported such experiences. Of minority employees who objected to the treatment, 63 percent said their employers ignored their complaint.

How do companies discriminate? Employees who say they've suffered bias cite these top three forms:

  • Being passed over for promotion. 
  • Being assigned undesirable tasks.
  • Hearing racist comments.

To read the study, visit www.heldrich.rutgers.edu. Click on "What's New."

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