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  1. #1

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    Reporting discrimination in the workplace

    I work at a dry cleaners in Louisiana. Our boss is a very racist and bigoted person. It has basically pushed all 3 of us to put in our 2 weeks notice. So for the past few days she has been in the process of taking applications. We have seen countless African Americans come through the door and a few Caucasians. Every single caucasian, without exception, has had an immediate but small sit down interview. Not one single African American has been given anything but the opportunity to fill out an application. It is immediately discarded but not until she makes fun of their "stupid names." We all want to report this illegal behavior. First, I want to make sure it is in fact illegal. I am 99% sure it is. Secondly, one of my coworkers is afraid that making a claim against her will somehow go on our record. I don't understand what she means but it is worth checking on. I don't want to find future employment hard to come by because I turned in someone who was discriminating. She thinks there will always be something on our background check that shows we reported a former employer but it will not have any details, so basically protecting the former employer but leaving us to now be discriminated against. Is this fear factual? Finally, what do we do? Who do I report such behavior to? The Better Business Bureau, which she so proudly claims to be a part of? Someone else?
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

  2. #2

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    I suggest reporting it to the EEOC. That way,you are legally protected against retaliation (i.e., if you get fired, you can report it to the EEOC ... and sue, if necessary).

  3. #3

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    Thanks. I am not worried about retaliation because I have already put in my notice. I am, and the other coworkers as well, worried about having a hard time getting hired at future jobs if they think we go around reporting every little thing our bosses do, not that this is little.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post
    Thanks. I am not worried about retaliation because I have already put in my notice. I am, and the other coworkers as well, worried about having a hard time getting hired at future jobs if they think we go around reporting every little thing our bosses do, not that this is little.
    Making it hard for you to get other jobs would be a form of retaliation ... just as firing you would be ... so, it would be equally illegal. (The report should also be confidential, at least initially, but if the EEOC does take action, they may need your testimony ... which means that your boss may find out)

  5. #5
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    You can file a claim if you are discriminated against, I'm not certain if you can file a claim if you *think* someone else might be. You have no real proof of anything except your dislike of this person.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

  6. #6

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    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

    Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered by EEOC laws (20 employees in age discrimination cases).
    http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/index.cfm

    If the business does not have enough employees to qualify for federal rules, look up state rules about work discrimination, usually at (your state).gov .

    Also:

    EEOC does not accept charges online. However, we do have an online assessment tool that can help you decide if EEOC is the correct agency to assist you. You can then complete an Intake Questionnaire that you may print and either bring or mail to the appropriate EEOC field office to begin the process of filing a charge.
    http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/howtofile.cfm

  7. #7

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    In addition to the EEOC, every state had its own agency that handles discrimination claims under Louisiana law. For Louisiana, it is the Louisiana Commission on Human Rights. You should be able to report the employer to that agency.

    Also, consider contacting your local branch of the NAACP or ACLU. They sometimes respond to these type of situations by sending in people posing as applicants. They will send in someone who is white and someone who is African-American to see if they are treated differently.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post
    The Better Business Bureau, which she so proudly claims to be a part of? Someone else?
    Is it something she pays an affiliation fee to be part of it? If part of their charter for members to be a non-discriminatory employee, then you could contact them. But maybe do it after you have found another job if you are worried about how it would affect you getting another job. That job won't need to know what you are up to then.

    However I would say that if they are not hiring or treating applicants fairly due to race issues, then that is something that could be dealt with.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  9. #9

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    Louisiana Commission on Human Rights

    The employment provisions of state laws apply to employers of 20 or more employees (and in the case of pregnancy and related medical conditions, more than 25), labor organizations, joint labor management committees, employment, and apprenticeship and training programs, and all agencies of state and local governments.
    http://gov.louisiana.gov/HumanRights/function.htm

    All persons in Louisiana are protected against acts of unlawful discrimination. Anyone may file an official complaint with the Louisiana Commission on Human Rights (LCHR). There is no fee for this service and a claim may be filed by telephone, mail or in person at the LCHR offices
    http://gov.louisiana.gov/HumanRights...tofdiscrim.htm

    Are customers treated in a similar manner? (by the boss, when a customer wanted to speak to "the manager")

    It is a discriminatory practice for a person to deny an individual the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public accommodation, resort, or amusement.
    That would get their attention even more, I bet.

  10. #10

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    Thanks to everyone for their help. I now have some ideas how to move forward if that is the decision I make.

    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    You can file a claim if you are discriminated against, I'm not certain if you can file a claim if you *think* someone else might be. You have no real proof of anything except your dislike of this person.
    My dislike of her has nothing to do with what I have seen time and time again. I understand how your dislike of a person can cloud your judgement but that is not happening here. I stated only facts (such that ONLY white people get any kind of interview, I also left out that in 25 years she has never had a single black employee) so I don't see any correlation between proof and my dislike of her. I would have this proof even if I loved her more than anything in the world. Maybe I misunderstood you, though.

    As to the question about how she treats her customers. Yes, she absolutely treats her AA customers differently. I have seen examples of price differences and nearly all of our AA customers come in later or on weekends so she is not there. She once used the N word in front of a customer, that customer still comes only because it is so close to his house but he comes in only when she is gone. We have had a few AA customers admit to us that they think she doesn't like them but none have come out and said they feel she is being racist. I think it is implied, however.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

  11. #11

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    Someone needs to record what she does when she does get a black person applying.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  12. #12

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    BB - did you see the applications? She could easily claim the applications of the white applications were more suitable for the job. Unless someone with the same or very similar application, or a African American with an obviously better application is applying (whether just to see if there is discrimination or not), you really don't seem to have much actual proof.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    BB - did you see the applications? She could easily claim the applications of the white applications were more suitable for the job. Unless someone with the same or very similar application, or a African American with an obviously better application is applying (whether just to see if there is discrimination or not), you really don't seem to have much actual proof.
    That's why places like the EEOC conduct an investigation. BB simply needs to report what he's witnessed. It's up to enforcement groups to then gather the evidence. That's typically how things go.

    That said, there typically is substantial back-log in suspected workplace and housing discrimination cases, so even if it is reported, there might not be any action taken (or not any action taken immediately). That doesn't mean it shouldn't be reported though. Creating a paper trail can be helpful down the road regardless.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    BB - did you see the applications? She could easily claim the applications of the white applications were more suitable for the job. Unless someone with the same or very similar application, or a African American with an obviously better application is applying (whether just to see if there is discrimination or not), you really don't seem to have much actual proof.
    IMO, the things that BB has personally observed about the difference in treatment is enough to justify the report; it is the job of the commission (or any other investigative agency) to collect the formal evidence.

  15. #15

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    I have seen applications and I have seen more than a few that were just as qualified for the job as any white person who has come in. Some have even come in that previously worked at our other location! If that doesn't bump you to the top (assuming they left on good terms, etc) then nothing will! I wonder if she gets away with it because the other location has quite a lot of AA employees, so the company as a whole has a good percentage of AAs but our particular location has had 0 in 25 years. The entire family is extremely racist, I've heard countless examples of racist remarks but they do hire AAs at the other location where the actual cleaning is done. We just take in and hand out clothes at our location.

    I agree, I think I have more than enough evidence to file a report. It is not up to me to prove anything, that is up to whomever decides (if they decide) to investigate. It would be very easy to do IF she is hiring, otherwise she will turn everyone away and proof would not be there. I just hate living here sometimes, this attitude is everywhere.

    If only she knew she had a gay man working for her the last 6 months.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post

    If only she knew she had a gay man working for her the last 6 months.
    Oh she knows.

  17. #17

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    Has she made homophobic comments as well?
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  18. #18

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    She probably was told by a worker that I replaced. I think she knows because she has never made homophobic comments and this is a lady who hates blacks, muslims, foreigners of any kind, etc. Basically she hates anyone who isn't white and Catholic. So I think she found out and kept her mouth shut around me. I can't imagine she would be so full of hate but not ever say anything about homosexuals.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

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