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Incidents of Workplace Discrimination Doubled in 2020

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Labor + Trade Relations

Incidents of Workplace Discrimination Doubled in 2020

The murder of George Floyd in May 2020 sparked a movement for racial justice and equality that traversed the globe, but it seems that the construction industry has yet to catch on


May 24, 2022
Civil rights protest
Image: Stock.adobe.com

Just two years after a nationwide push for progress and equality following the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, little to no improvement seems to have been made to prevent workplace discrimination and harassment on jobsites, Construction Dive reports. Over 20 bias-motivated events, including nooses and racist graffiti, were reported on U.S. construction sites in 2020, a trend which many construction leaders tried to proactively address with campaigns and inclusive workplace initiatives. 

Just two years later, reports of hate crimes are still all too common on construction jobsites, particularly in an industry where 88% of workers are White and just 6% are Black compared to 12% in the general workforce.

By fall of 2021, six major contractors, including Turner, Mortenson and Gilbane, launched the inaugural Construction Inclusion Week to combat hate in the industry. More than 1,000 firms participated.

Yet, hate crimes continued to grab global headlines, including a high-profile case last year, where several nooses were found at an Amazon warehouse construction site in Connecticut. 

While reports of incidents slowed last winter, in March, an employee at a subcontractor admitted hanging a noose at a Meta construction site in Utah.

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