The repercussions from a recent arrest of two African-American men standing outside of a Philadelphia Starbucks includes the emergence of implicit bias training to company policies. The two men were waiting for a business meeting, and one was told that he could not use the restroom unless he made a purchase. Police officers soon arrived, and the men were taken out in handcuffs. Mayor Jim Kenney said what happened appears to exemplify what racial discrimination looks like in 2018.
Starbucks acted six weeks later and shut down 8,000 locations and conducted racial bias training for their employees. Although this kind of training is not new, the focus is now on implicit bias. This is done without being aware of what is happening, and is also referred to as unconscious bias. It can be influenced by a person’s past experiences. This includes childhood and adult encounters, where the person lived and went to school, social class, profession, age, race, gender, and other factors. It can cause behaviors and choices to become discriminatory and negative. Implicit bias training is designed to make employees aware of these ingrained biases and how to eliminate them.
EEOC’s Views on Racial Bias
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) 2016 report, Rebooting Workplace Harassment Prevention, equates unwelcome and offensive workplace conduct to harassment and discrimination. The EEOC implies that to prevent harassment, unwelcome conduct prevention should be addressed in addition to illegal conduct. The report is the center of their It’s on Us campaign, which aims to stop workplace harassment and discrimination by placing responsibility on corporate leadership.
In a 2015 EEOC Commission Meeting, a Seton Hall University School of Law professor spoke about the effects of implicit bias and racial anxiety on equal employment opportunity. She stated that the combination of implicit bias and racial anxiety creates significant differences in workplace experiences. She also cited research explaining how they undermine fairness in the workplace.
Does Implicit Bias Training Work?
Implicit Bias Training is geared toward helping employees realize that they may have biases that they are not aware of. It further shows them how these biases influence their lives and behaviors at work. The goal is to teach employees to make better choices in the workplace.
The CEO of Starbucks has supported racial bias training and set an example by closing stores for training, which included employees, management, and executives. However, the results are not yet effective. There are those who feel that explicit or obvious harassment is more important. While some believe that the actual results from this training do not show positive results, others feel that it does.
Cherry Hill Discrimination Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Represent Victims of Racial Discrimination
If you have been discriminated at work based on your race, the Cherry Hill discrimination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. can help. For a free consultation, fill out our online form or call us at 215-569-1999 today. We are in Philadelphia, and we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas, including New Jersey.