The National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, conducted two separate studies recently, one of which was on the economic impact of a black-sounding name, its specific effect on chances of being employed. This same study was repeated, in 2008, by Sendhil Mullainathan of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Marianne Bertrand, an Economics Professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
The results of the original and the repeated studies were the same: that the chances of getting a job were much higher for individuals with White-sounding names than for those with African-American-sounding names.
Many companies, obviously, despite the many federal laws that prohibit job applicant and employee discrimination, end up committing this unlawful practice. It is also quite evident from the study conducted, that majority of the employers based their choice of who to invite for a job interview on the names and not the qualification and work experience of the person. The discouraging results do not end here, though, for based on actual employment records most African-Americans, who make it and get a job offer, are offered a pay that is nearly 25% less compared to their white counterparts.
Well, that is if they make it through the interview, because accent, vocabulary, and diction make up another set of barrier that can seal the company’s door on a job hopeful. Accent, especially, causes a lot of bias – it can make others think either highly or lowly about one’s education, level of intelligence, social status, character, wealth, and so forth. Thus, since having an English accent in the US can create a perception that one is intelligent, some try hard to adopt it –note well that this is just accent, though, with no consideration to the content of what is being said. Well, that’s style over substance – a very poor way of determining one’s real possible worth in the company.
Linguicism (a term coined in the 1980s), which is prejudice about a person based on his/her language skills, affects working immigrants most. A firm’s rule on having a single-language policy, accent preference, or being evaluated with having poor communications skills by managers/supervisors, even if the job does not really require language fluency, can be interpreted as nothing less than racial discrimination.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides employees protection from the many forms of discriminatory practices (based on religion, color, sex, national origin and race) that are still major problems in many firms. In connection to the stipulations of this Act many state courts are now developing laws that will make discrimination based on language a form of discrimination based on race and/or national origin.
In its website, the law firm of Cary Kane LLP makes mention of the unfair treatment, due to race, that are still being committed in the workplace, affecting so many potential and actual employees. The firm, likewise, expresses concern on the limits to job opportunities and the detrimental emotional and psychological effects racial discrimination can cause in a person.
Cary Kane LLP is not new to lawsuits based on the many different forms of workplace discrimination, due to the so many cases it has fought in the past on behalf of the victims. The firm knows and believes that those who are discriminated need only the best forms of arguments and defense from a highly competitive legal professional.