Issue of Racial Discrimination Within the Workplace

It is said that the average person spends around one-third of their life working, that’s almost eight hours a day. With all the hours building on one another, that surely gives you enough time to become overwhelmed on unsatisfied with your performance or well being. As a result of this, common issues are re-appearing in the workplace affecting the overall workplace relationship between employers and employees. These issues include interpersonal conflict, communication problems, gossip, harassment, discrimination, low motivation and job satisfaction, poor job fit, performance issues, lack of training, insufficient workloads, finally, low wages. While there are more issues that become noticed inside the workplace these are some of the common ones today that people face. Some today can experience one, few, many or possibly even all of these issues in their lifetime. The amount of stress that one can build up from encountering all of this can take a toll on their state of mental health. If someone can not regain control of their life or find peace with themselves can harm themselves or harm others.

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The communication is one of the most effective tools inside the workplace. But this doesn’t always mean that it can be effective in a good way, there have been lots of times that it has been negative and causing disruptions. It may seem simple enough, however, there can be more forms of a negative impact linked towards communication issues. People can often have problems in the workplace as a result of those that come from a different culture than themselves. This is not a matter of racial issues, it is more of a matter of understanding the other party. When someone comes from a different background, English may not be the first language that they were taught. As a result of this it may become harder for employers to communicate with each other because of the language barrier being formed. Communication between employee may have a result of mixed messages, or unintentionally saying something that the person did not mean to say. The cultural background can also divide people based on their own views and beliefs, in which it may be harder to connect with someone outside of a person’s own views. But all of this isn’t to say that people are being racist to each other in the workplace, it is just a matter of understanding.

Not everyone can connect and understand what the other person is saying to them as easily as others. Outside of a cultural background there are more problems with communication, such as a lack of standards to have, meaning that it is not regulated on how much employees should talk towards each other about work issues. If people don’t know that they should be communicating with each other about the task at hand and keeping their ideas to themselves then most likely work production is below standards. But that is not to say that everyone should only rely on a single form of communication. Everyone should and know how to use different forms of communication. For example, not everyone should only use verbal communication for everything, something communication on an email or board might be more effective in some instances than verbal. Another form of a communication issue would be assuming some else has taken charge of a group project. Without identifying who is doing what in a group project, nothing becomes organized. As a result of this when deadlines are becoming missed and poor production becoming more common. When nobody has defined roles, people start to blame others for something that they could possibly be not responsible for. Quite possibly this is something that can lead to a free for all in the group, everyone not wanting to take responsibility for the groups actions as a whole. Communication is one of the most important and complex issues in the workplace today. It doesn’t just have to include the three previous issues described, but it can also include mixing personal with workplace issues, oversharing, being unprepared and finally failure to communicate fully.

Another large problem that occurs in the workplace is discrimination and prejudice, whether it be against race, sex, age, and sexual preferences. It seems that almost everything today in the workplace has a connection with the possibility of discrimination and or prejudice.

For example, if an employer happens to ask for a potential employee for there race, but don’t end up giving that person the job, is race involved with it? One would have to ask themselves did that person only want to hire me based off of my race or my skills. Although this example no longer happens often in today’s world, however that is not to say that it doesn’t happen anymore all together. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commision there were a total of 84,254 chargers filed for discrimination in the workplace. 33.9% was filed based on racial discrimination, 30.4% was filed because of gender discrimination, 9.8% of people had discrimination against their national origin, 4.1% cases were because of religious discrimination, about 21.8% was based on age, 31.9% was a result of discrimination against the disabled, 1.2% was because of the equal pay act, and lastly, 3.8% of people complained about discrimination against their “color”. All of this data was compiled from the year 2017 (Charges filed with EEOC) FY 1997 Through FY 2017. (n.d.). As a result of this some people believe that they are being excluded from a position, being denied a raise or benefits, not getting equal pay, or possibly even being deyned use of some of the facility’s utilities. But that is not to say that nothing is being done about it. There have been many laws since the mid to late 1900’s that have contributed to stopping forms of discrimination, by making it illegal to discrimination anyone of almost anything inside the workplace to try and promote a safer and more effective workplace for today.

While discrimination can be sometimes similar, the similarity between both discrimination and harassment stop quickly, as they are two topics that should not be confused for one another. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission “ Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information” (Equal Employment Opportunity Commision [APA], n.d.). That is where the similarity stops, because the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that “ To be unlawful, the conduct must create a work environment that would be intimidating, hostile, or offensive to reasonable people. Offensive conduct may include, but is not limited to, offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objects or pictures, and interference with work performance.” (Equal Employment Opportunity Commision [APA], n.d.). Harassment compared to discrimination can be looked at something that is more directed towards aggressive or belittling behavior. One of the biggest forms of harassment today would be sexual harassment. According to Forbes “ 33.6 million women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace today.”(Winkler,2018) and not all of these women wish to speak about against the person who conducted the sexual harassment, which introduces a bigger problem for the head management of the company. According to Forbes “1/3rd of women wish to keep quiet after a sexual encounter”(Winkler, 2018). One of the main reasons for this is that the women don’t believe that what the company currently has as a disciplinary action is worth even speaking out. They want their voice to be heard and taken seriously, however they can’t do that if the company can take it as significant as it should be. As a result of the sexual allegations throughout a company, moral becomes decreased and productivity as well drops. People don’t feel like they should be working there and can’t work as efficiently as they either should or used to. However that is not to say that nothing is not happening from the companies. There have been multiple companies that have changed their workplace policies and began enforcing the idea that sexual harassment is not something that should be taken as lightly as it has been for the passed few years. If a company wants to have success in their business, then they need to have success in their employees. Women should not have to dread coming into work because of sexual harassment. Everyone should feel comfortable and safe inside the workplace.

Poor job training is another workplace issues that a huge negative impact on the company itself. Some companies believe that they can get by with the cheapest form of training and save money that way, however this does not work in all cases. People that are new to their job and have received poor job training can become a liability to the company an those around him or her. People that don’t have an understanding of what they should be doing can create a low production in the company as a result of this training. During the time that the new employees should be working on their job, they spend too much time asking people what they should be doing and how they should be doing it. Usually these new employees are not also given extra time to do their job, so to put them on the spot and start working away at their new job without the proper training materials that they needed before, creates an ineffective workplace. Inexperienced employees can also create an unsafe work environment. Without the proper knowledge to utilized certain equipment or machinery, these employees can create injuries to themselves and those around them. In some work environments it is not a matter of getting and scratch and bleeding for a little bit, but a matter of life or death. Safety is the most important key in the working environment today and should not be looked at as the cheapest training will be good enough for this company. Companies that do not wish to pay more in the beginning can end up paying more in the future, because of the costs of medical attention from injuries caused by an employee and lawsuits that people file against the company for not providing a safe work environment. Finally inexperienced employees that lack proper training can turn away customers as there lack of skill or knowledge of customer service did not seem fit for the customer wanting to stay with the company. Customers that turn away from one company, will likely go to their competitors as a result of this, will prove to be a major loss of income.

Low wages are another major problem today. People that find themselves working at a low income job full time can find it hard to survive on the low wages that their employer gives them. Employers also have been accused of wage theft against people that are working for them full time. These employers also fail to pay these hard working people the money that they have worked up towards and as a result get less or possibly nothing out of it. Today the problem of proper equal pay is in the low wage job market. Not everyone gets the money that everyone else gets in the same job, everyone can be paid differently at times. These people that work these low income jobs are also excluded from a lot of possible benefits or compensation from the government or state. But people that work these jobs often have nowhere else to go because it was the only job that they could find and gain money from it. So employers can abuse this idea and change the wages to their favorable outlook on how much money they want to make. In respect to this job morale is low, working conditions are unsafe, and productivity is low.

Lastly, insufficiente work loads is another issue that is growing around the U.S. Workers with high workloads often become easily stressed out about how much needs to be done in a certain period of time. Even some of this work the employees feel that it is a complete waste of time and has no benefit towards the betterness of the business. What is even worse is that these workers can find themselves in either poor staffed or communicational environments where it can become increasingly more difficult to accomplish this heavy workload. People believe that the management either spends too much time on giving out too much information, which can make it hard for workers to figure out what is important from what is not, or not helping the employees out enough. These insufficient workloads have a distinct correlation between itself and stress. Obviously the more workloads one has to deal with, the more stress that person begins building upon themself. What is worse is that when everyone begins dealing with this, morale will go down and eventually productivity will decrease as well.

The workplace today can either be the best thing or the worst thing to ever happen for some. While these subjects previously talked about are some of the more popular issues that revolve around the workplace today, they are certainly not the only ones that can happen to an employee. Employees spend about 1/3rd of there of life working, whether that environment has been sustainable or depressing is usually up to how the company can resolve certain issues in the working environment. Companies must understand that there production and profits are based off of their employees work. These workplace issues today are often the reason of why companies fade away compared to those that are able to resolve their current situations and keep going. The most effective employee in the workplace is the one that doesn’t have to worry about the workplace issues that either the company allows or it doesn’t resolve. 

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Issue of Racial Discrimination Within the Workplace. (2021, Apr 04). Retrieved September 27, 2022 , from
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