It may feel to progressive managers and workers that the United States has left the era of workplace discrimination behind. This may seem true especially in California, where high-tech industries represent the cutting edge of industry and innovation.
Recent investigations into gender-based harassment in the workplace have turned this illusion upside down. Fast-growing tech companies, venture capital firms and even the state capitol in Sacramento have all been placed under a microscope after victims of discrimination have felt safe bringing their stories forward.
Now, a police department in southern California is being investigated after five current and former police officers of Asian descent filed a lawsuit claiming a hostile work environment tinged with racial slurs. Some officers allegedly used mocking accents and racial epithets when talking to Asian co-workers.
Some officers endured discrimination for more than 20 years, according to the lawsuit, and two of the plaintiffs were denied assignments and suffered other retaliation when they reported harassment and inappropriate behavior.
Though horrifying, the incidents detailed in the lawsuit are not as uncommon as one may think, according to an advocate for Asian-American rights. California, a majority-minority state, is home to several groups that have suffered mockery and work restrictions against state law.
Specific incidents of workplace discrimination may harm individuals and their workplaces, but the trends they represent are harmful to the community at large. An attorney can help victims of workplace discrimination explore their options and protect their careers and dignity through mediation, civil lawsuits or other legal actions.
Source: Huffington Post, "Asian-American Cops Sue California Police Department Over Discrimination," Kimberly Yam, Nov. 28, 2017