In the light of recent hate crimes against Asian Americans, we offer resources for fighting hate and discrimination in the workplace.

One might think that the shared misery that the pandemic has caused might unite us all as a nation, and in many ways, it has.  Unfortunately, crises tend to bring out both the best and the worst in people, and the pandemic has also revealed an ugly underbelly of racism and hate. All too many people have channeled their anger and anxiety about COVID-19 into blaming, harassing, and discriminating against Asian Americans.  Several of our clients have raised concerns about this and asked for support resources, which we include below in this post.

This is an issue that employers need to think about, particularly as many employers make plans to  return to a shared physical workplace after nearly a year of remote work.  In welcoming people back, it’s a good time for employers to re-emphasize core values of a respectful, tolerant, and inclusive workplace. As part of that message, emphasize your organization’s prohibitions against harassment, hate, discrimination, and violence in the workplace.

Among steps you might take:

  • Mandate trainings in anti-harassment and discrimination for all supervisors and managers. Some states require that anti-harassment trainings for all employees. (ESI EAP offers various anti-discrimination and anti-harassment trainings for both managers and employees)
  • Circulate and post messages of inclusion, tolerance, and respect.
  • Develop an anti-discrimination policy, if you don’t already have one.(See FindLaw: Sample Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policies and HR Toolkit: Anti-discrimination policy for samples.)

We’ve compiled various resources on hate, racism and harassment that might be helpful to your organization, your managers, and your employees. Click the links in this list for indicated topic.


In the Workplace

Learn about the various types of discrimination and harassment prohibited by the laws enforced by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEOC.

EEOC – Harassment – Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. Harassment becomes unlawful where 1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or 2) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.

Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) will not rise to the level of illegality. To be unlawful, the conduct must create a work environment that would be intimidating, hostile, or offensive to reasonable people.

Offensive conduct may include, but is not limited to, offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objects or pictures, and interference with work performance. Harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, an agent of the employer, a co-worker, or a non-employee.
  • The victim does not have to be the person harassed, but can be anyone affected by the offensive conduct.
  • Unlawful harassment may occur without economic injury to, or discharge of, the victim.

EEOC Small Business Resource Center – Need information about a specific discrimination topic? We’ve categorized EEOC material for small businesses categorized by topic, so you can find what you need quickly and easily.

Hate Crimes & Laws

How Allies and Bystanders Can Help

Resources Against Hate, Racism, Discrimination, and Harassment

  • Hollaback! – a global, people-powered movement to end harassment — in all its forms. We believe that we all deserve to be who we are, wherever we are. Working across all spaces — including online, the workplace, transportation, protests, the polling booth, and encompassing all identities — including women, LGBTQ+ folks, Black folks, Indigenous folks, people of color, religious minorities, people with disabilities, immigrants, and all others who are treated as “less than” just for being who they are. We seek to uproot hate and harassment.
  • Race Forward –  brings systemic analysis and an innovative approach to complex race issues to help people take effective action toward racial equity. Founded in 2002, the Center for Social Inclusion catalyzed community, government, and other institutions to dismantle structural racial inequity and create equitable outcomes for all. Race Forward is home to the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), a national network of local government working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all.
  • American Psychological Association – racism, bias, and discrimination resources
  • ADL  – a leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of antisemitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to stop the defamation of the Jewish people, and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion.

Resources for and in Support of Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders

ESI EAP benefits list


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