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Race and wage discrimination very prevalent

Some Californians believe that racial discrimination in the U.S. has declined. However, a meta-study indicates that racism is alive and well in America, and discrimination against blacks and Latinos has continued unabated for decades.

According to researchers at Harvard, Northwestern University and the Institute of Social Research in Oslo, Norway, discrimination against blacks in hiring has not changed in the last 25 years. Latinos have only experienced a small decline in hiring discrimination during the same quarter-century. The researchers found that whites receive an average of 36 percent more call-backs when they submit applications than blacks. Whites also are called back 24 percent more often than Latinos. This means that minorities have fewer opportunities and must work even harder to get an interview.

Once blacks and Latinos do get jobs, they are paid less than are their white counterparts. This is true even for minorities who are college-educated. Researchers at the St. Louis Fed studied income disparities between members of different races, using 2013 data. The median family income of white college graduates was $94,351. For Hispanic college graduates, it was $68,379. The median family income of black college graduates was the lowest at just $52,147.

Race discrimination is prohibited under state and federal laws. When workers are discriminated against because of their color or national origin, they may have grounds to file claims against the employers who discriminated against them. Similarly, minority workers who discover that they are paid less than similarly situated white workers at their jobs may also have the basis to file charges against their employers. People who believe that they have been discriminated against based on their protected characteristics or statuses may want to seek the guidance of experienced employment lawyers.

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