Black Folks Change Laws!
I’ve learned just how true that expression is by getting caught in The Black Factor cross-hairs at previous jobs. For instance, I’ve had a prior employer change the “law” by making revisions and additions to the personnel manual that were meant to negate my complaints against the company.
But, when companies change laws for Black folks, it doesn’t have to be as drastic as changing the personnel manual. Here are a few ways I’ve seen procedures changed to “unaccommodate” African American employees, while utilizing The Black Factor as a mechanism for disparate treatment:
· Adding undocumented requirements to promotion or hiring criteria, such as stating there is a “preference” for something or other that was not or has not been required of White staff. For instance, an African American with a B.A. may be told they can’t be a certain level or classification because they do not have a Ph.D. However, a White new hire with a B.A. is brought in at the strictly Ph.D. level/classification—without any basis for the disparity.
· Changing procedures to add a layer of work to a job, particularly administrative work, when an African American takes over a job for White staff.
· Taking a “wait and see” attitude with nearly every request made by African Americans. Depending on where you work, every request may be “too premature” for discussion. For instance, an African American may be told that it is too premature to discuss better or more advanced assignments, but they are not told that there are things they need to work on before these opportunities are made available.
· How about the lunch game? You know, where they suddenly change the lunch and/or work schedules for no other reason than to prevent a group of African Americans from being available to go to lunch together. No credible work-related reasoning can account for the change in schedules.
See the post below, for quick tips on dealing with new rules.