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Tennessee readers may be interested to learn that approximately one-third of Native Americans report experiencing workplace discrimination based on their race or ethnicity, according to a new survey. The survey was conducted on behalf of National Public Radio, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The survey asked participants about their general experiences of discrimination, and more than one-third of Native Americans reported experiencing slurs, threats of violence, harassment or discrimination in some area of their life. In the workplace, 33 percent of Native Americans said they had personally experienced racial discrimination when seeking a promotion. Thirty-one percent said they had been discriminated against when applying for a job.

Native Americans who live in areas where the majority of the population is Native American were significantly more likely to say they had experienced workplace discrimination than those living in areas where Native Americans were not in the majority. For example, 54 percent of Native Americans living in majority native areas said they experienced discrimination while applying for a job or seeking a promotion, compared to just 22 percent of Natives living in non-majority Native areas.

It is illegal for employers to discriminate against employees based on their race or ethnicity. Examples of race-based workplace discrimination may include slurs, offensive comments, denial of employment or promotions and retaliation for speaking out. Individuals who experience race discrimination at work may find relief by speaking to an employment rights attorney. After reviewing the case, an attorney may advise filing a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If the complaint is successful, the plaintiff could receive a settlement for damages.

Source: Harvard, “Poll finds more than one-third of Native Americans report slurs, violence, harassment, and being discriminated against in the workplace,” Nov. 14, 2017