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Study shows racial bias still exists in hiring practices

Most people in California would agree that racial relations have improved since the 1960s. Many may even point to the recent election of black president as evidence that the country is on the right track. However, for many people of color, the last quarter century has brought few changes.

One area in which blacks still seem to face discrimination is in the workplace. A report recently appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences outlining an intense study conducted on the hiring practices for more than 25,000 job openings across the country. Data from experiments regularly performed over the decades was analyzed and compiled to ascertain whether businesses have improved in hiring people of color who are well qualified for available jobs.

Some of the experiments involved submitting fake resumes with identical qualifications for white and ethnic-sounding names. Other tests have white and non-white testers apply in person for jobs. Analysts study the resulting callbacks and offers for interviews, comparing those for whites and applicants of color. Despite having identical resumes, the white applicants received callbacks 36 percent more often than blacks. Additionally, the study found almost no change in hiring rates for black applicants over the past 25 years.

Discrimination can be subtle and difficult to detect, but evidence exists that some employers may make hiring decisions based on racial bias. Even those who are invited to interview and eventually offered positions may face unfair treatment in the workplace simply because of their race. This is illegal, and those who face such discrimination have the right to seek legal assistance by contacting a California attorney.

Source: hbr.org, "Hiring Discrimination Against Black Americans Hasn't Declined in 25 Years", Lincoln Quillian, Devah Pager, Arnfinn H. Midtboen and Ole Hexel, Oct. 11, 2017

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