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How common is discrimination in the retail industry?

On Behalf of | Nov 9, 2021 | Firm News |

Discrimination within the retail sector is no secret. It has long surfaced in a loud and clear way pertaining to significant pay gaps and fewer chances of promotion opportunities among Blacks and Latinos compared with their white counterparts.

Retail workers who are Black and Latino are more likely to be among the working poor compared with white counterparts, according to a 2015 report released by New York-based liberal think tank Demos and the NAACP. Roughly 9% of all retail workers lived in poverty, compared with 17% of Black and 13% of Latino retail workers.

Minorities: lower pay and fewer promotions

Among some of the paper’s findings included:

  • While Black workers comprise 11% of the retail industry’s workers, they only make up 6% of workers in managerial positions.
  • Full-time salespeople who are Black and Latino receive 75% of the wages of white peers.
  • Roughly 70% of full- and part-time sales workers who are Black and Latino receive less than $15 per hour, compared with 58% of their white colleagues.
  • An overrepresentation of Black and Latino workers exists in cashier positions – the lowest paid job in the industry. In addition, employers pay full-time cashiers who are Black and Latino roughly 90% of what their white peers earn.
  • Policies such as “just-in-time scheduling” and relying on part-time staff have harmed minorities who desire more hours. Roughly one-in-five Black retail employees work in part-time positions, compared with fewer than one in seven white workers. Just-in-time scheduling leads to workers getting their schedules on short notice, having their shifts change or canceled at a moment’s notice.

Companies need to improve their employment policies and provide equal job and pay opportunities for minorities. Studies like this one only confirm that.

No room for unfair treatment

Discrimination has no place anywhere. However, the retail industry continues to see its overabundant share of unfair treatment in the workplace. Minority workers clearly understand this. It is time that their employers did the same.