Race Discrimination in the Workforce sample essay

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When returning back to Wanzek’s after layoff I had noticed in my paycheck I had lost $2 an hour in pay when I had received a $2 raise and a gift certificate before layoff. I did report the loss of wage to Tina Harrison in Human Resources and she would e-mail Phyllis at Headquarters. Anthony Butler has called numerous times and no response. On November 6, 2012 a text was also sent to Phyllis by Anthony Butler in regards to his loss of pay. Phyllis also has not responded.


At the Trenton job site on or about October 10, 2012 Anthony Butler (herein Butler) went to the Safety Manager “Larry” to get a pair of gloves prior to work that morning. Butler was informed by Larry, “That he was not supplying him gloves every week because it was not his job”. At that time Butler informed Larry that his hands are too big for the gloves and his were tore. On or about October 16, 2012 Butler again went to Larry for work gloves because the two pairs he had that day were wet and his hands were freezing. Larry stated, “He was not giving them to me and that I needed to take them home and dry them”. Butler informed Larry it was raining out and he needed gloves. Employees from Butler’s crew went to Larry for gloves and received them with no hassles.

Butler never did receive any gloves and yet had to continue to perform his job. On October 24, 2012 Butler again went to Larry to get insolated gloves to go inside his work gloves because his were torn and at that time Larry refused to give Butler the insulated gloves and instead gave him water gloves and it was not even raining. At that point Butler went to Ralph Hunt (herein Hunt) his foreman and explained to him what Larry gave him instead of the proper work equipment needed to perform his job duties. Hunt took Butler to the Safety Office and confronted Larry to why his best helper meaning Butler could not have a pair of insulated gloves. Larry said, “what happened to the gloves I fricken gave you last week”? Hunt at that point told Larry the gloves did not cost more than twenty (20) cents per pair and at that point Butler received a pair of gloves. After these violations Butler was transferred to another jobsite.

Basin Job Site


On or about November 7, 2012 Butler came back from lunch to work in the Fabrication Area when an employee nick named Bommer asked Butler if he was working him to hard. Butler replied “no, it’s a slow day”. Bommer replied, “I will work the hell out of you Nigger”. After Bommer called Butler a “Nigger” he then replied, “That’s just a joke”.


On or about November 14, 2012 while working with Civil, Butler was shoveling dirt and sand and moving warming blankets with another employee. The employee left and Butler was moving the warming blankets by himself when he asked Brandon who is the foreman of Civil, why are his workers standing by the break room watching him work. Brandon did not reply. That went on the entire day the others employees did not work they just watched Butler work.


On or about November 19, 2012 Butler was working with Bommer ad another employee nick named Zeek. Bommer had dumped a load of dirt in the wrong spot which he had been doing all day. Zeek replied, “You did it again Bommer”. Zeek looked at Butler and said, “Get a shovel”. Butler replied to Zeek that he already had the rake and that is what he has been using all day to spread the dirt”. Zeek said, “What are you just going to stand there and watch me dig”? Bommer was just standing there when Butler said, “don’t be mad at me because he dumped a load in the wrong area and that you need to make him help also”. That’s when Mark Corbell the supervisor over piping stated, “You need to back the fuck up”! At that point I walked away to clear my head and then started back working.


On November 19, 2012 Butler came into the man camp and turned ESPN on to watch the football game. Wade an employee and also roommate walked into the house mumbling under his breath about Butler having the TV on football. Butler spoke, “hello Wade” and Wade ignored him. At that point Wade told Kyle Olson (herein Olson) another employee and roommate, “Let’s go to the bar”.

They left the house and came back approximately 1 am drunk, slamming doors, talking loud and making it obvious that they’re intention was to wake me up so I would come out of my room and start a confrontation. This went on for almost 45 minutes. I stayed in my room and couldn’t go back to sleep the rest of the night. In the morning Wade slammed the door so hard Butler thought it broke the window because Butler had made previous complaints about Wade slamming the doors every morning to Wade and Olson. Several of other incidents not mentioned at the present time will eventually be brought to light by Butler after the EEOC investigation has been completed.


As cited in the Employee Safety Handbook given to employees of Wanzek’s states verbatim on pg. ii; Equal Opportunity States: The Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages women, minorities, veterans and the disabled to apply. We recruit, hire and promote all job classifications based solely upon the personal qualifications of the individual. All employees are treated equally with respect to compensation and opportunities for advancement.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA)

This law makes it illegal to pay different wages to men and women if they perform equal work in the same workplace. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.


As cited in the Employee Safety Handbook given to employees of Wanzek’s states verbatim on pg. 24; Corporate Policy States: Gloves are required for all work performed in the field. Each employee must be able to select the right kind of glove for the task.


Race discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because he/she is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race (such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features). Color discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of skin color complexion. Race/color discrimination also can involve treating someone unfavorably because the person is married to (or associated with) a person of a certain race or color or because of a person’s connection with a race-based organization or group, or an organization or group that is generally associated with people of a certain color.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

This law makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. The law also requires that employers reasonably accommodate applicants’ and employees’ sincerely held religious practices, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business.

Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

This law makes it illegal to discriminate against a qualified person with a disability in the federal government. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. The law also requires that employers reasonably accommodate the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability who is an applicant or employee, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business.

Title VII’s protections include:

* Recruiting, Hiring, and Advancement
Job requirements must be uniformly and consistently applied to persons of all races and colors. Even if a job requirement is applied consistently, if it is not important for job performance or business needs, the requirement may be found unlawful if it excludes persons of a certain racial group or color significantly more than others. Examples of potentially unlawful practices include: (1) soliciting applications only from sources in which all or most potential workers are of the same race or color; (2) requiring applicants to have a certain educational background that is not important for job performance or business needs; (3) testing applicants for knowledge, skills or abilities that are not important for job performance or business needs.

Employers may legitimately need information about their employees or applicants race for affirmative action purposes and/or to track applicant flow. One way to obtain racial information and simultaneously guard against discriminatory selection is for employers to use separate forms or otherwise keep the information about an applicant’s race separate from the application. In that way, the employer can capture the information it needs but ensure that it is not used in the selection decision. Unless the information is for such a legitimate purpose, pre-employment questions about race can suggest that race will be used as a basis for making selection decisions.

If the information is used in the selection decision and members of particular racial groups are excluded from employment, the inquiries can constitute evidence of discrimination. * Compensation and Other Employment Terms, Conditions, and Privileges Title VII prohibits discrimination in compensation and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. Thus, race or color discrimination may not be the basis for differences in pay or benefits, work assignments, performance evaluations, training, discipline or discharge, or any other area of employment.

* Harassment

Harassment on the basis of race and/or color violates Title VII. Ethnic slurs, racial “jokes,” offensive or derogatory comments, or other verbal or physical conduct based on an individual’s race/color constitutes unlawful harassment if the conduct creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment, or interferes with the individual’s work performance.

* Retaliation

Employees have a right to be free from retaliation for their opposition to discrimination or their participation in an EEOC proceeding by filing a charge, testifying, assisting, or otherwise participating in an agency proceeding.

* Segregation and Classification of Employees

Title VII is violated where minority employees are segregated by physically isolating them from other employees or from customer contact. Title VII also prohibits assigning primarily minorities to predominantly minority establishments or geographic areas. It is also illegal to exclude minorities from certain positions or to group or categorize employees or jobs so that certain jobs are generally held by minorities.

II. Thru VI

* A hostile work environment is an environment in which an employee, due to actions by co-workers or the employer, does not feel comfortable performing duties. In extremely hostile work environments, the employee may not feel comfortable even coming into the work facility.

Inappropriate Comments or Actions

* A work environment may be considered hostile when co-workers or an employer makes lewd jokes or touches inappropriately (sexual harassment), or when co-workers or an employer makes unwanted comments about an employee’s age, gender, race or physical or mental competence. Even if the majority of the co-workers have no problem with the actions or comments, a work environment can be considered hostile if the actions or comments clearly make an employee uncomfortable in the workplace.


Butler has filed a complaint with the EEOC in regards to the above violations and is also informing his employer Wanzek Construction Inc. of the mentioned violations above. Butler is afraid to come to work due to the hostile environment in his house by both roommates employed by Wanzek. Kyle Olson is very raciest and has had racial dealings outside of the workplace in the past with Butler’s fiancé’s children’s father whom is also African American. Butler has been violated by not only crew members but also supervisors and higher ups. Butler feels he has finally been verbally and physically harassed to the point that a hostile environment has created by the employees of Wanzek Construction Inc. and their Contractors.

Issues have been brought to some higher ups including staying in the house that has been selected to him. His wages were addressed to the proper authorities and again nothing has been done. At this time Butler is seeking the EEOC to address these violations and a complaint has been filed via telephone on November 26, 2012. Butler hopes that this complaint does not bring forth retaliation and more harassment for he cannot take anymore. Butler has kept his mouth shut through all the violations he has been victim to and he wants this discrimination to stop and wants to be treated fairly as all other employees.

Other violations not mentioned are in regards to improper discipline given to other employees when creating an unsafe work place. Butler is not even able to buy food to refrigerate his food because the two employees have over taken the fridge and freezer to where Butler could never get food in the fridge. The training Butler should have had the opportunity to receive along with the other employees including operating testing of equipment that Butler operates.

Wanzek a Mas Tec Company at P.O. Box 2019 Fargo, North Dakota 58107-2019 and also to MasTec Corporate Headquarters at 800 S. Douglas Road Coral Gables, Florida 33134