Human Resources the Connection Workplace Race Discrimination Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Human Resources


Workplace Race Discrimination and Health

Employment Discrimination, Segregation and Workers' Health

A recent study explored the effects of exposure to joblessness on the volunteers' emotional well-being as affected by race and gender (Danty Jr., 2003). It also investigated the impact of racism on the health conditions of workers, particularly as the result of wage discrimination. The study found that perceived racism and exposure to racism could be sharp stimuli to undesirable health conditions among employees. It was not clear whether these effects are more objectively evaluated by self-classification or social classification of racial identity (Danty Jr.).

Other studies separate the effects of race on health from those of socioeconomic status (Danty Jr., 2003). This study recommended the formulation and conduct of a new longitudinal database, which will be able to more accurately identify and establish the existence of the connections between racism and its poor health effects (Danty Jr.).

Workplace Discrimination and Depression

Another study aimed at determining the mental health consequences of the exposure to workplace discrimination (Hammond et al. 2010). It used a multiethnic sample of 664 hospital employee-volunteers. The team used the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale to evaluate their depressive symptoms and measure the occurrence, types and frequency of these symptoms in the workplace. The study found that African-Americans more often reported frequent and various types of discrimination than other racial or ethnic employees. The investigation considered socio-demographic factors, job strain, and general social stressors. Assessment showed that workplace discrimination and its frequency appeared to trigger depressive symptoms. This connection was consistent among all racial and ethnic groups studied. It concluded that reducing workplace discrimination should improve or ameliorate psychosocial functioning among the tested racial or ethnic minority hospital employees who had the greatest risk of exposure to discrimination (Hammond et al.).

Discerning Racism in the Workplace

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made discrimination illegal but it has yet to be effectively implemented in the workplace (Mistry & Latoo, 2009). Workplace racism is worldwide and this seems to explain the difficulty in implementing the Act. Psychiatrists attempted to understand the nature of that difficulty. They found that race discrimination in the workplace comes in different forms, some disguised, but all producing negative effects on individual employees involved and the organization as a whole. Legislation has yet to assert real force to protect those affected and achieve the aim and progress intended (Mistry & Latoo).

While obvious forms of racism may have been eliminated to a degree and on the surface, it is the subtle and unconscious form, called ambivalent or modern racism, which is the more stinging and stubborn (Mistry & Latoo, 2009). It is also called aversive racism in those who thrive on egalitarian beliefs and those who claim to have no such negative prejudices that are aware of. Psychiatrist-researchers found that these feelings and feelings draw from normal psychological processes and inclination towards social categorization. They also proceed from the inherent and unconscious fundamental need for power and control and socio-cultural influence. Psychological tension results from an ambivalence that, in turn, leads to inconsistent behavior towards racism. This ambivalence is demonstrated by even trivial behavior and gestures, such as avoidance of ethnic minorities, unfriendly verbal and non-verbal communication, and refusal to help. Those who unconsciously discriminate habitually or compulsively ask where a discriminated person is from. These supposedly small manifestations actually transmit the message that those discriminated do not belong (Mistry & Latoo).

Black Women Employees Stress over Perceived Race Discrimination

(Mays et al. 2013) perceived race-based

Another recent study conducted a national survey of a sample of Black American women employees (Mays et al., 2013). It revealed that a combination of perceived discrimination and socio-demographic factors influence their employment status and their perceived job stress. The study suggested that this situation has implications on the health of the investigated sample (Mays et al.).

Similarities and Differences

All four articles deal with racial discrimination in the workplace. Three of the four focus on the health effects of the discrimination. These are the articles by Danty Jr., Hammond et al., and Mays et al. The third article by Mistry and Latoo delves into the subtle and disguised persistence of racial prejudice despite the prohibition of Civil Rights Law of 1964.

They differ in their specific objectives as regards workplace discrimination. Daryl Jr.'s tackles the impact of racism on the health of employees who suffer from perceived discrimination as based on their socio-economic status. Hammond and his team also touch on the health effects of racial discrimination in the workplace but narrow down on the situation of non-white hospital worker-volunteers, especially African-American ones. There is only a slight difference with the handling of the article by Mays and her team from that of Hammond and his team. Mays and her team focus specifically on Black women employees and how socio-demographic factors influence their employment status and perceived job stress. Hammond and team, on the other hand, include other non-white hospital worker-volunteers in their study. And Mistry and Latoo's article discusses the persistence of racial prejudice in the workplace and in the general scene despite the prohibitions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Research Types and Findings

Danty Jr.'s study was an empirical research, which used the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and focused on control scores. Hammond and his team used the prospective case control Gradients of Occupational Health in Hospital Workers. They also examined multivariate relationships. Mistry and Latoo's work was a review article on the concept and origin of racism, its overt and subtle forms, specifically in the workplace, its existence in health organizations and consequences. And Mays and her team took a national probability sample and used the National Survey of Black Americans, a literature review and analyses of the data in coming up with their findings.

Danty Jr. (2003) found that the perceptions of racism and measured exposures to it could serve as strong stimuli to undesirable health conditions. It was not certain if the effects of racism should be evaluated according to self-classification or social classification of racial identity. Furthermore, his study revealed that part of the unpleasant health consequences of segregation may be traced to lower income levels and greater poverty in predominantly Black communities. It concluded that advocacy is an important measure as there is no federal watchdog performing this function. It observed a connection between race and the lack of political power. Race is still a strong criterion in determining which communities should be prioritized and Black communities are always among the least prioritized.

Hammond et al. (2010) found that the occurrence of workplace discrimination and its frequency produced depressive symptoms in those discriminated against. This appeared to be true among all racial and ethic groups and in addition to job strain and overall social stress. Their findings confirmed those of earlier researches that the impact of the occurrence of workplace discrimination, its types, and frequency relate to depressive symptoms beyond the strain of the job and overall social stress. . This impact is distinct from that produced by other psychosocial and work stress stimuli. Their findings are also consistent with those of previous studies that workplace discrimination is linked with poor mental health and that it is highly prevalent among African-Americans. The association between the occurrence of discrimination or types and depressive symptoms were similar among races or ethnic groups (Hammond et al.).

Mistry and Latoo (2009) found that, despite legislation and appropriate procedures, healthcare organizations have not come to par in supporting policies favoring race equality. Lawsuits are filed from the lack of enforcement rather than the lack of policy. The covert or unconscious form of racism is the more problematic (Mistry and Latoo).

Findings of the study by Mays et al. (2013) confirmed earlier findings that socio-demographic factors,…

Sources Used in Document:


Danty, W.A., Jr. (2003). Employment discrimination, segregation and health. Vol. 93

# 2, American Journal of Public Health: American Public Health Association.

Retrieved on February 18, 2014 from

Hammond, W.P., et al. (2010). Workplace discrimination and depressive symptoms:

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