Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Racial Discrimination Court Case Reviewed

The Supreme Court will order the 11th District Court of Appeals to reconsider its ruling that unwarranted racial ephitets were not a valid reason to sue a company, in this case Tyson Foods for racial discrimination. The two plaintiffs in the suit are long-time African-American employees who were denied a promotion from a white manager who had less experience (2 years) and basically treated the rest of the employees with content as well. The white manager called both employees "boy" alledgedly. I don't know what you have to do to prove racial discrimination in the workplace, but at the very least the white managercould have created a hostile environment with this comments. Hostile in the sense that it would leave the employees feeling as though that their manager's attitudes could lead to further problems such as diminished promotions and career opportunities, and limited upward mobility.

I have experienced discrimination first hand myself. At a previous job, I gave a training class on computer concepts to several co-workers and two managers. Afterwards, a white co-worker overheard the managers saying that "This N....... doesn't know what he is talking about". I was angry of course, but I had little recourse. If I confronted the manager what evidence could I present? I eventually decided to leave the company to find a more encouraging environment elsewhere.

Have you ever experienced this kind of problem up close? How did you handle it? What would you advise another co-worker to do if he felt discriminated against?

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