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African Americans job applicants still face racial bias

African Americans looking for work in New York and around the country still face the same amount of racism they faced 25 years ago, according to a meta-analysis of workplace discrimination studies. The analysis was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Researchers from Northwestern University, Harvard, and the Institute for Social Research performed a meta-analysis of field experiments dealing with racial discrimination during the hiring process. They found that white job applicants receive an average of 36 percent more callbacks from employers than African American applicants do. That percentage is the same as it was back in 1989. White applicants also receive around 24 percent more callbacks than Latinos do. That percentage is only slightly better than it was 25 years ago.

The experiments analyzed in the study used audits of resumes and in-person job interviews to measure racial bias against job applicants. The studies found that applicants with names that sounded black or Latino tended to get fewer callbacks than applicants with names like "Brad Anderson". Applicants with different ethnic dialects were also less likely to get past job gatekeepers than applicants who "sounded white". According to the researchers, stronger oversight is needed into the hiring practices of employers. Affirmative action policies may also be required to combat both conscious and unconscious racial bias during the hiring process.

Individuals who believe they have experienced racial discrimination when applying for a job could have their situation evaluated by an attorney experience in employment discrimination matters. After reviewing the details of the case, the attorney may recommend filing a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or appropriate state agency. This could lead to a settlement that offers compensation for the losses that have been sustained.

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