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When employers overlook skills and focus on accent

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2023 | Workplace Discrimination

Most workers shed blood, sweat and tears to get where they are in their careers. Many managers, executives and skilled workers rise through the ranks primarily because of their hard work. But sometimes, some employees encounter roadblocks that should not have been a hindrance in the first place. One common roadblock in the workplace is discrimination.

Unfortunately, some employers overlook skills and talent and highlight an employee’s surface characteristics, such as race or accent.

How biased employers perceive accents

Whether they come from another country or state, many employees in the U.S. bear accents. This fact usually does not affect their work performance and social ability. Unfortunately, some employers think otherwise. There are employers who refuse to hire, promote and provide equal workplace opportunities because of their accent bias. Consciously or not, these employers think that non-native accents can distract or cause miscommunication in the workplace.

In worst-case scenarios, employers tag workers as less qualified solely based on their accents despite the workers’ available qualifications.

Protect your employee opportunities and rights

It is unfortunate that many employees suffer from unfavorable evaluations and workplace hostility because of their cultural identity. Accent bias is language discrimination, which federal and state laws prohibit. With this in mind, any employee who believes their employer discriminates against them due to their accent can look through their options to protect their rights. Internally, victim employees can raise the issue with their human resources department. However, if the company fails to investigate justly, the discriminated employee has legal options.