When words used in a disciplinary report suggest implicit bias

September 17, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Barbara J. Koenig

Implicit bias is an unconscious preference for or an aversion to a person or a group of people. In other words, we may have an attitude toward others or stereotype them without conscious knowledge of what we’re doing. If we act in accordance with our implicit bias, we may be discriminating against a person or a group of people without even being aware of our bias. Two recent cases illustrate the fact that HR managers need to educate supervisors on implicit bias and how a seemingly straightforward description of an employee or a workplace incident can suggest racial animus and unconscious discrimination.  Bias

Seemingly innocent words suggest bias

read more…

Action needed to enforce workplace respect for others

July 16, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Dinita L. James

Defiant public displays of racism and bigotry have been reported around Arizona. I haven’t witnessed such brazenness since my youth in rural North Carolina in the 1960s and early 1970s. I’m not saying that hearts and minds were changed, but the racists learned to whisper among themselves to avoid overwhelming public condemnation. The coarse culture at large makes it imperative that you communicate with and train your employees on the behavior you demand of them when they’re dealing with others on your behalf.  Businessman and businesswoman handshaking in conference room

Slurs in the stands

read more…

The tragedy at Emanuel AME

June 18, 2015 6 COMMENTS

by Rick Morgan

Today’s current events are rife with bad news. The despicable and senseless murders at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, do not end at the doors of this historical house of worship. The event, however, does bring into focus an issue that our country and workplaces continue to wrestle with on a daily basis—that of race.  Stop Hate

I will digress for a moment to talk about two points. In 1968, as a college freshman, I was fortunate to be able to earn a spot on our college’s basketball team. I was one of the 12 who got to travel and dress for away games. When we traveled, our coach would pair up players to share rooms for the night. One time, he came to me and told me he needed me to share a room with one of my teammates, which I was happy to do. The coach explained he was pairing us together because I was the only one who he felt would have no objections to the room assignment, which I did not. My teammate was black, and I am white. It really shouldn’t have mattered, but that was the unfortunate state of race relations in the 1960s.

read more…

Recent events confirm racists, misogynists are not extinct

June 14, 2015 0 COMMENTS

by Dinita L. James

Last July, the nation celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The focus rightly was on how far we have come as a society in eliminating discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.

Close on the heels of that celebration, however, recent events provide some distressing reminders that bigotry is not dead.

read more…

Let’s talk about race: the death of Tony Robinson

April 19, 2015 0 COMMENTS

by Saul Glazer

The recent police shooting of Tony Robinson put Madison in the national headlines. Thankfully, unlike last year’s events in Ferguson, Missouri, the protests following Robinson’s death have been peaceful. However, the incident has once again put a spotlight on how we view race relations. This article discusses race relations in general and the problems employers have with race issues in the workplace.Time for a conversation

Robinson shooting and reaction

read more…

Rude isn’t racist: Supervisor’s alleged poor treatment doesn’t amount to discrimination

June 15, 2014 0 COMMENTS

by Carrie Pond

A Kentucky federal court recently dismissed a claim of hostile work environment racial harassment because the employee failed to show the harassment was race-based. Despite allegations that, if believed, demonstrated the employee’s supervisor “treated [her] very badly,” she failed to establish that the treatment was racially motivated.   Racist Supervisor

Facts

read more…

Are microaggressions a new legal threat in the workplace?

May 18, 2014 3 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

An April gathering that brought together President Barack Obama, three former presidents, and civil rights leaders marked the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a game-changing law that still guards against discrimination in the workplace and other aspects of life. The impetus for the Act was the kind of blatant bigotry responsible for mistreatment of racial and religious minorities as well as women. The Civil Rights Act has made strides against flagrant abuse, but concern over a more subtle kind of bias is now coming to light: damage caused by “microaggressions.”  Microaggression

Microaggressions aren’t like old-style, overt racism and other forms of bigotry. Instead, more understated insultssuch as praising an African-American employee for being articulate or admiring a Latino’s lack of an accentare raising questions. These comments and actions are what a recent college graduate quoted in a March New York Times article called “racism 2.0.”

read more…

Training employees to eliminate unconscious bias

May 18, 2014 0 COMMENTS

by Matthew A. Lafferman

Everyone has unconscious or subconscious preferences. Generally, we all prefer to associate or socialize with people who share our background and interests. As a consequence, we often aren’t aware of our preferences, identifying our behavior only when it’s pointed out by someone else. Unfortunately, we carry our hidden biases into the workplace, and that’s when problems may arise.   Bias

Employees’ hidden biases

read more…