Across the nation, many corporations have pledged their support for those fighting in the frontlines of racial inequality. However, those same companies have not made any efforts to improve the race wage gap that exists for many Americans. Now, Americans across the nation are demanding action–equal pay, regardless of the color of an employee’s skin.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, in 2018, when reviewing employees with advanced degrees, the average hourly wage for white employees was $44.46, compared with $36.23 for African American employees.
Racial Discrimination in the Workplace
The age-old argument against racial discrimination in the workplace has been that receiving a college education would equal the playing field in the workplace for employees. However, studies show that a degree alone is not enough.
In a 2019 study by Georgetown University highlights that the socioeconomic standing of African American and Latinx minorities was not improved by going to college. The study suggests that between 1991 and 2016, black and Latino Americans increased their likelihood of better employment by obtaining higher degrees however, it did not result in better jobs. In fact, the participants’ white peers still had better jobs.
It is estimated that white employees are paid $554 billion more annually whereas black employees are paid $202 billion less and Latinos are paid $352 billion less.
While suggestions have been made to increase incentives to universities that enroll minority groups and offer scholarships, this isn’t enough. The change must occur within the workplace itself.
Workplace Policy Must Support Equal Pay – Race Wage Gap
The founder and CEO of First Workings, Kevin Davis, has suggested action by employers. Davis worked on Wall Street for over 25 years as a trader and eventually as CEO of a major derivatives brokerage firm. First hand he saw that racial discrimination doesn’t just occur in the workplace, but occurs in the interview process.
Davis suggests a corporation version of the Rooney Rule, a policy that requires teams to interview ethnic-minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs.
Employing something similar in corporations would allow more talent of diverse backgrounds to make it to the interview process, and hope that more would make it to the job. This doesn’t just have to be at the highest levels but prospective interns to candidates for board seats.
While our nation and the state of New York has much work to do, know that if you experience racial discrimination in the workplace, you do not have to handle it alone.
Brown Kwon & Lam: Racial Discrimination Employment Lawyers
If you are filing a racial discrimination case against an employer in New York City, you need a reliable employment law firm with a history of results. The attorneys at Brown Kwon & Lam are here to protect your rights in the workplace. If you have been a victim of racial discrimination, contact Brown Kwon & Lam today.