How to deal with racism at work

As Management

1. Establish a clear policy statement about your company’s zero-tolerance stance on racism in the workplace. Explain that racism is about more than just obvious things, like hateful jokes and name calling. There are two kinds of racism: overt and covert. Covert racism is more insidious and harder to diagnose.

2. Analyse and identify institutionalise racist practices your company may be involved in without fully realising it. Overlooking highly qualified people of colour within your organisation when positions of power become available is one example — unintentional or not. This process will require a lot of honest evaluation and cooperation from everyone in your organisation, and it may be extremely difficult.

3. Develop a progressive corrective action system to back up your company’s zero-tolerance policy on racism. Instruct managers to document any and all instances they witness, and inform everyone within the organisation of the exact details of the corrective action system.

4. Create an environment where anyone who feels they are experiencing racism in the workplace feels safe in reporting the problem. Like other victims of abuse, it can be difficult for victims of racism to talk about racist incidents because they are personal and painful.

Also read: Anti-Racism Week: 7 things you can do to reduce racism

As An Employee

1. Document any and all incidents of racism that happen to you in the workplace or that you witness. Write down names, dates, times and detailed descriptions of what occurred. If you have physical evidence, hold on to it in a secure place, such as a locked fireproof box.

2. Report each racist incident that occurs to your supervisor, union steward, or both. Talk about the incidents with anyone you trust, particularly if they have gone through something similar — this can help you through an otherwise difficult emotional process.

3. File formal complaints through whatever system is available in your workplace or union. If necessary, hire a lawyer who specialises in discrimination cases and file a lawsuit. Present the lawyer with all your documentation and evidence of the racist incidents that have occurred.

VIDEO: #Dololoiracism Anti-Racism campaign kicks off today

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