The United States has come a long way with race relations, equal opportunities and discrimination prevention. However, incidents still occur in California and every other state. To prevent racial discrimination in the workplace, it is important for people to understand what it is. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines discrimination based on race as any treatment of an employee that is different solely based on his or her race or the race of people he or she associates with.
Employment policies should apply to everyone equally. Any policy that singles out people based on race is not allowed. In addition, all hiring, firing and promotion practices should be based only on merit and never on race. This includes job assignments, training practices and benefits. Harassment is also discrimination and includes habitual derogatory comments and the display of offensive materials that can be considered racially offensive.
Workplace Fairness notes that in some situations it is not entirely clear whether there is discrimination taking place. For example, some policies may seem like they affect people from certain races more than others, but if the policy is essential to business operations or for a safety reason, then it likely would not be considered racial discrimination. There are also bona fide occupational qualifications that could allow for race to be a condition of the job. The best example of a BFOQ is a part in a movie that requires a white actor. It would be okay to exclude those of other races from being eligible for the job.