Racial discrimination in the workplace occurs when an employer treats an employee or applicant differently than others because of his or her race or racial characteristics. Discrimination can also stem from company policies which adversely affect employees differently based on race. Employees subjected to race discrimination may be entitled to relief under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or under state anti-discrimination laws, depending on the size of the employer.
Employment discrimination based on race, ethnicity or skin color can occur at any stage of employment, including hiring, firing, laying off, promoting, assigning benefits, determining compensation, assigning job duties or training. Examples include:
- Assigning employees of a particular race, ethnicity or skin color to certain establishments or geographic regions
- Classifying employees to keep those of a particular race, ethnicity or skin color away from customers or other employees and/or to limit them to certain jobs, positions or shifts
- Creating or contributing to a hostile work environment by making or allowing comments, jokes and/or threats based on race, ethnicity or skin color
- Maintain written records. Take notes about any and all incidents, including the date and time, who was involved and what happened. Keep these notes in a safe place outside of work. If racial slurs are commonplace, for example, keep a log of who said what and copy any emails or posted bulletins that contain derogatory comments or images. If race appears to be a factor in employment decisions, keep track of how your employer hires, fires, and promotes employees of a particular race, ethnicity or skin color. Continue writing everything down even after you report the issue to management, including when and to whom you made the complaint and what actions were taken in response.
- Notify management of the issue in accordance with company policy. Most companies have a procedure in place for reporting harassment and discrimination. If not, or if you fear retaliation from your employer, contact an experienced Los Angeles employment attorney to protect your legal rights.
- Talk to other employees. Find out if anybody else has experienced, witnessed or heard about similar instances of discrimination.
- Contact a qualified Los Angeles employment lawyer to determine what steps to take next. If you continue to suffer discrimination or harassment after reporting the problem to management, or if your employer retaliates against you in any way, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.
Racial discrimination is not only morally wrong; it is contrary to California and federal law. If you have been the victim of any type of employment discrimination, take a stand by contacting an aggressive Los Angeles employment attorney today.