When are racial profiling laws a bad idea?
Posted On July 19, 2021
A new article from Fox Sports gives us an update on racial profiling and why we should be wary of them.
The article, written by Mike Bianchi and Ryan Dolan, offers some perspective on the debate around profiling and racial profiling in the workplace, highlighting the history of racial profiling legislation and the need for a more inclusive workplace.
“We can all agree on the importance of racial and ethnic profiling in our workplaces,” writes Bianchi in the piece.
“But there is a lot of confusion about what constitutes profiling and when it’s legal.
Here’s why it’s a bad thing.
What is profiling?
As the title of the article indicates, racial profiling is a violation of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination in employment.
It also has a broad definition, meaning it can be used to determine who has a legal right to work in the first place, and when discrimination is permissible.
The term “racial profiling” is not a new concept.
In the early 2000s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was called to investigate an apparent racially motivated homicide.
This is why many employers use racial profiling, or profiling of potential workers based on their race.”
If somebody’s not, you’ve got to have a reasonable suspicion,” Freeh added.
This is why many employers use racial profiling, or profiling of potential workers based on their race.
The federal government says that “reasonable suspicion” is the threshold for the use of racial or ethnic profiling.
The FBI has a policy of not calling the use a “racial crime,” and its policy also states that the use can only be justified by a “good faith belief” that the individual is “a person of color.”
The law allows for the profiling of workers based upon their race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or any other “qualifiable factor.”
The FBI has used this definition of race, even when it wasn’t clear to the FBI that a racial crime was being committed, as in the case of an individual who was arrested and charged with a crime for wearing a hoodie.
“The FBI defines race as an observable characteristic or trait that distinguishes an individual from other persons of a particular race or ethnic group.
It does not necessarily have to be based on skin color, as a person of the same race may share many of the characteristics of another person of that race,” the Bureau said in its policy.
There are other factors that may be considered, such as a potential for crime or other “red flags” that can indicate a suspect may be a criminal.
“It is not always clear to employers that they have a right to use race as a proxy for criminal behavior,” Bianchi writes.
What does this mean for me?
The law currently allows employers to use the definition of “race” as a “reasonable basis” for their use of race-based profiling.
The FBI policy states that this is not the only way that the FBI may use race-related criteria, and it doesn’t require that a case be investigated or investigated within a certain timeframe, nor is it required that a particular suspect be arrested or charged.
Bianchi points out that even though some employers are legally required to use a specific race in order to determine a worker’s eligibility for employment, the FBI policy does not define race in that way.
It also states in the policy that it is up to the employer to determine if a specific case is based on a “validly articulable suspicion” or “an objectively reasonable suspicion.”
“It should be clear to an employer that it must not use race in any way as a racial indicator or criteria, but that doesn’t mean it has to,” Bianchis article states.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact the National Coalition Against Racial Profiling.