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Who can be classified as a racial harasser and who can be classified as a victim in the workplace? When dealing with racial harassment, there is no one best thing to do, because every situation is different.

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. However, there are two important things to remember, as they affect your ability to pursue legal action should you decide to in the future.

Don't engage in racial banter or joke back in response, or otherwise, send mixed signals.

Direct communication, whether verbal or in writing, is better than ignoring the behavior and hoping it will go away.

If there are policies employees are supposed to follow when reporting harassment, you should follow the policy to the fullest extent possible.

While you may not think complaining will do any good, your company may later claim it would have stopped the harassment if it had known about it, so reporting the conduct is very important to show that the company was aware of the harassment.

Racial harassment in the workplace is unlawful when 1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or 2) when the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a person would consider intimidating, hostile or abusive.

This law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against individuals because of their race in hiring, firing, and other terms and conditions of employment, such as promotions, raises, and other job opportunities. Title VII covers all private employers, state and local governments, and educational institutions that employ 15 or more individuals.

The laws of most states also make it illegal to discriminate based on race, and some states specifically make racial harassment against the law. These laws also cover private and public employment agencies, labor organizations, and joint labor-management committees controlling apprenticeship and training.

Report harassment to your employer as soon as possible.

It is very important that you report the harassment because your employer in the early stages of the harassment because the employer must know or have reason to know about the harassment to be legally responsible for a co-worker, client or customer's racially harassing conduct.

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