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Bryant Whitten, LLP

California university accused of racial bias

A report that investigated charges of racial bias at UCLA found that almost all of the faculty members of color had suffered some type of discrimination and that the school wasn't doing enough to address the issue. Even when the charges were investigated, the guilty parties were not usually punished. According to the report school policies on race discrimination were not clear and disciplinary action was not properly enforced against those who violated policies.

The school chancellor emphasized that the university was taking the information seriously. He pledge to appoint a full-time campus dicrimination officer and said that discrimination of any type would not be tolerated. A five-member team spoke with 30 administrators and professors to collect their opinions of discrimination. Despite their academic achievements and status on campus, all were upset by the discrimination they had gone through at the school. Nearly all felt that the offending parties were not held accountable for their behavior.

During the 2012 - 13 school year, the UCLA faculty was made up of 73 percent Caucasians with the remaining 27 percent consisting of Latinos, African Americans and Asians. Two faculty members surveyed claimed that there was a clear racial bias by white male professors who ran their department and who used discriminatory language. In another incident, a faculty member called another staff member a racial slur in front of students. When he tried to resolve the issue through appropriate channels, he was told to not pursue the matter.

Discrimination in the workplace is illegal and is often not be taken seriously by an employer. A workplace discrimination attorney might be able to pursue legal action against the responsible parties.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Study faults UCLA's handling of faculty's racial bias complaints", Stephen Ceasar, October 18, 2013

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