top of page

Racial Discrimination in the Workplace: A Case for Forensic Psychological Evaluation

Empowering Employment Attorneys


by Mark D. Lerner, Ph.D.

Clinical & Forensic Psychologist

Racial discrimination in the workplace refers to the unjust treatment of employees based on race or color. It can affect any aspect of employment, including hiring, salary, and promotions; it can also manifest as harassment, leading to a hostile work environment and retaliation.


The deeply disturbing nature of racial discrimination can lead to a range of psychological symptoms, including anxiety, panic, fear, depression, sleep problems, intrusive repetitive recollections, avoidance behavior, and posttraumatic stress. These issues can affect every aspect of a person’s life, from their ability to work to their relationships with their family and friends.


A Forensic Psychological Evaluation can provide attorneys with clinical and objective, empirically based psychometric data that demonstrates the emotional and functional impact of racial discrimination.

A comprehensive evaluation can help substantiate claims of emotional distress and the proximate cause of the plaintiff's current emotional and functional problems.

Furthermore, administering objective measures can determine if a plaintiff is malingering or feigning symptoms, thereby supporting the claim's validity. In cases of racial discrimination, this is especially crucial as it could potentially minimize or dismiss the plaintiff's emotional distress.


A Forensic Psychological Evaluation can also assist in identifying the long-term effects of racial discrimination and harassment on individuals. Research has demonstrated that employees who experienced racial discrimination at work were more likely to have chronic health conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes (Lee and Smith, 2021). An evaluation can provide attorneys with a comprehensive understanding of the lasting impact of racial discrimination in the workplace.


Racial discrimination can have a profound impact on employees' emotional well-being and overall quality of life. Forensic Psychological Evaluation offers a valuable mechanism for attorneys to gather clinical and objective data that substantiates the severity of the plaintiff's emotional and functional problems.


bottom of page