Employment Law

Personal Injury

Microaggression can have a major impact

by | Aug 19, 2018 | Race Discrimination |

While a Missouri employer may never consider promoting one person over another based on racial prejudice, he or she could still miss serious discrimination behaviors. According to Bloomberg, stereotypes and unconscious biases could lead supervisors and others to make comments and decisions or take actions that have a negative effect on those they target.

Microaggressions are, as implied by the name, small attacks or hostile behaviors. They may be so small that the aggressor does not even realize he or she is offending. That does not lessen the feelings of intimidation or abuse on the part of the target, particularly if the behaviors are ongoing.

If the situation is pervasive and severe, a judge may determine that the employee has suffered harassment. Cases are determined based on the circumstances, but generally, courts look for factors such as who the aggressor is, how often the offenses occur and whether they affect the employee’s ability to succeed at his or her job.

USA Today reports that microaggressions in the workplace create situations a lot more serious than hurt feelings. These behaviors reinforce the imbalance of power and privilege, which in turn keeps racial discrimination alive and thriving in the workplace and in society. Thus, it should be no surprise that the outcome for victims is often chronic stress, which can be a trigger for serious health problems such as heart disease or stroke. In fact, stress often causes people to have these conditions at a much younger age, and health professionals believe harassment and discrimination may be at the root of that disparity.