Facing Race Discrimination?

Ethnicity and Racial Discrimination Lawyers with Decades of California Employment Law Experience

If you suspect racial discrimination at work, then you may be able to secure relief under state or federal race discrimination laws. Federal law remedies for discrimination are based upon Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law applies to employers with 15 or more employees. Similar state anti-discrimination laws usually protect people who work for smaller employers.

What are Signs of Racial Discrimination at Work? Racial Discrimination Definition

Discrimination may occur at any stage of employment. This includes the initial hiring decision, promotions, layoffs/reductions in force (RIF), compensation, benefits, job assignments, training or termination of employment. Racial discrimination may also manifest itself through racist comments or harassment at work.

Discrimination may be based upon any immutable racial characteristics, including skin, eye or hair color and certain facial features. You can make a discrimination claim based upon:

  • Disparate Treatment — The employee is subject to discrimination because of race, ethnicity, skin color or a similar characteristic.
  • Disparate Impact — Although the employer may not intend to discriminate, the employer’s policies adversely affect employees on the basis of race, ethnicity, skin color or a similar characteristic.

Certain employer conduct raises questions about their intentions and may be suggestive of discriminatory motives. For example, let’s say an employer makes pre-employment inquiries that appear designed to determine a job candidate’s racial background. That would then raise the concern that it will use the information in the hiring decision. If an employer that employs few minorities engages in that type of conduct, then the conduct may stand as evidence of discriminatory hiring practices.

Examples of Racial Discrimination in the Workplace

  • Harassment or discrimination on the basis of race or color, including offensive comments or jokes, other statements or conduct based on race or color that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment or interferes with the employee’s work performance.
  • Classifications of employees, such that employees of particular races, ethnicity or skin colors, are isolated from other employees, from customer contact or relegated to certain jobs or positions.
  • Assignment of employees of a particular race, color or ethnicity to particular establishments or geographic areas.

How to Prove Race Discrimination

Ordinarily before you can file a racial discrimination lawsuit, you must first file a complaint with an administrative agency. For a federal complaint, you would first file the complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You can also make complaints to state and local agencies under California discrimination law. Sometimes the agency will take and prosecute your racial discrimination case on your behalf. If the agency does not act within a specific time frame, or declines to act on your behalf, then you may file a private race discrimination lawsuit.

Under a typical anti-discrimination law, the plaintiff, or victim of race discrimination, must prove the following:

  • The plaintiff was a member of a protected class;
  • The plaintiff was qualified for the job for which he or she applied, or that he or she was meeting the employer’s legitimate job expectations at the time of discipline or termination of employment;
  • The plaintiff was not hired or was not promoted, and that somebody outside of the protected class was instead hired or promoted, or the plaintiff was fired and replaced by somebody outside of the protected class;
  • The circumstances of the employer’s hiring, promotion or termination decision give rise to a reasonable inference of discrimination;
  • That the employer’s nondiscriminatory explanation for its actions was a mere pretext for racial discrimination, ie., it is a false explanation to make its discriminatory action appear legitimate.

Can My Boss Hold the Racial Discrimination Complaint Against Me?

Title VII also protects employees who file discrimination charges, who participate in an investigation or litigation associated with a complaint of racial discrimination, or who testify in related proceedings. State laws typically have similar provisions. It is possible for an employee to lose a racial discrimination claim but still win a judgment against an employer on the basis of workplace retaliation.

Find Race Discrimination Lawyers Near Me

If you face race discrimination on the job, then contact a racial discrimination lawyer at our law firm. We offer a free initial consultation. Our Los Angeles discrimination attorneys can provide information about what to do about race or ethnicity discrimination. We may be able to get you compensation.