Race-Based Hiring

Managers’ race has had a “significant” effect on the race of employees, according to a study of personnel data from a U.S. retailer over 30 months. The “Manager Race and the Race of New Hires,” report was authored by Laura Giuliano, David Levine and Jonathan Leonard, and printed in the October 2009 issue of the “Journal of Labor Economics” (page 589).
Given all the arguments about race discrimination and the implementation of the the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) this comes as a surprize. The EEOC is a federal agency whose goal is ending employment discrimination. The EEOC investigates discrimination complaints based on an individual’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability and retaliation for reporting and/or opposing a discriminatory practice. The Commission is also tasked with filing suits on behalf of alleged victim(s) of discrimination against employers and as an adjudicatory for claims of discrimination brought against federal agencies.
The study looked at whether the race of a store’s manager affected that of the employees hired at the store. And the surprizing answer is: yes. The study involved approximately 100,000 employees at over 700 stores belonging to one, however unidentified chain in the time between February 1996 and July 1998.
The most significant tendency, the study said, was that white, Hispanic or Asian managers tended to hire fewer African-Americans than African-American managers did. The study also found that white employees were more likely to quit their jobs if an African-American manager replaced a non-black manager.
How this may impact hiring in the future and also how to avoid discrimination claims for your company will be detailed at bdhlaw.net.
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Reinhard von Hennigs
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Reinhard von Hennigs