Can I Sue My Employer for Racial Discrimination?

Can I Sue My Employer for Racial Discrimination?

Our lawyers hear about cases of racial discrimination at the workplace on a regular basis. If your employer is racist and has discriminated against you because of your race, color, or ethnicity, you can sue your employer for racial discrimination. The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group is here to ensure that you get the compensation to which you are entitled to after your employer has discriminated against you because of your race.

The laws that are put into place in this day does not allow an employer to focus on anything more than the qualifications and the employee’s ability to perform the essential job functions. As we all know, however, when laws are put into practice, humans are notorious for lagging behind in behavior. And when it comes to race, Americans have been lagging behind for centuries. While most employers do follow the law and do not racially discriminate against their employees, some employers still use their racial prejudices and act against employees. So that means that a person’s race must not play any part in the decisions an employer makes regarding their business. This discrimination applies to applicants as well, so an employer cannot choose a white applicant over a Latino employee, for example, simply because of race. Racial discrimination is a big no-no when it comes to employment and you can sue your employer or former boss if you are a victim of race discrimination.

The U.S. has a very dark history regarding race that still permeates our culture to this very day (in 2017). Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law and does not allow employers to discriminate against employees based on things like race.

The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group is here to serve justice for employees who suffer at the hand of their workplace – whether it be discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, or anything else that may be against the law for employers to do. We help people who have been discriminated against because of their race and answer questions regarding their case. Examples of such questions include:

  • Can I sue my employer for racial discrimination?
  • Can I sue my boss for racist remarks?
  • How to sue an employer for racial discrimination?
  • I need racial discrimination lawsuit information. How can I get some info?
  • I want the best racial discrimination lawyer to sue my employer for racism. Who is the best lawyer?

If you believe that your employer has discriminated against you because of your race, you have the right to file a lawsuit against your employer. Here are a few things you need to know before you move forward.

What Counts as Racial Discrimination?

Even in 2017, some employees still suffer from employer- or employee-based race discrimination. Your employer might be discriminating against you if they are segregating employees of a certain race in particular jobs, making employment decisions based on nothing but the color of someone’s skin and the stereotypes that go along with that race, treating an employee differently for mingling with people of another race, or making distinctions based on skin color. Racial discrimination is against the law and gives employees who have suffered from discrimination the right to file a case against their employer. Listed below are a few examples of race discrimination which are against the Civil Rights Act of 1964:

  • A sales company routinely only sends white employees to do sales, while the Latino population are hidden away in the back, mostly in restocking and warehouse positions;
  • A law firm does not promote a white employee because their spouse is Iranian; the firm’s main cabinet members often bring their wives to formal dinners with clients and fear that the clients will feel threatened by a Middle-Eastern American.
  • A trucking company’s employer has it in their head that Asians are terrible drivers and does not want to hire Asian drivers because they believe Asian drivers will be more of a liability than other drivers.

According to the Civil Rights Act, employers and employees cannot harass people based on their race. Harassing people because of their race is unlawful and may give employees who have been victimized by racist jokes and comments the right to sue an employer. If employees or employees use racism to joke or threaten an employee because of that employee’s race, it constitutes as racial harassment.

Discriminating Because of Race

An employee is a victim of race discrimination when their job is affected by the color of their skin or race, and when a company’s employer makes decisions based on that race or when it creates/adopts policies that favor, or disproportionately affect members of one particular (or multiple) race(s). Federal and most states’ laws prohibit the act of racial discrimination in every facet that has to do with company policy including hiring, terminating, promoting, job training, compensating, and discipline. There are two kinds of discrimination that can affect minorities: disparate treatment and disparate impact. When an employer purposefully singles out both applicants and employees of a particular race and subjects them to less favorable treatment, it is known as “disparate treatment” discrimination. When the employer decides to apply the same treatment for everyone, but the effects only impact one race – whether it was intentional or not – it is known as “disparate impact” discrimination.

Disparate Treatment Discrimination: What does it mean when an employee believes they have been victim to disparate treatment discrimination? When an employee claims they have been treated differently than other coworkers who were in relatively homogeneous because of that employee’s race – that is disparate treatment. For instance, you may have noticed that your employer only requires people of a certain color to submit to drug tests, or promotes only white employees, or does not allow people with melanin in their skin to interact with customers.

Employers that discriminate against physical characteristics associated with a particular race – like the texture of hair, the color of skin, facial features, height, et cetera – has committed disparate treatment discrimination.

Disparate Impact Discrimination: There are instances when an employee has been discriminated against, but does was not singled directly because of their race. A disparate impact claim states that the employer’s neutral policy disproportionately affects members of a particular race. For example, a minimum height requirement may disproportionately affect Asians and Latinos, a ban on hiring anyone with a criminal record may negatively affect Latinos and people of African descent or even a clean-shaven policy which may affect African Americans who could suffer from Pseudofolliculitis (a painful skin condition caused by frequent shaving). While employers may not have any racist motives, the fact remains that the policy still disproportionately affects members of a certain race, and so it does count as discrimination.

Harassment Is Illegal

Making remarks about a person’s race is harassment and is illegal under the Civil Rights Act. Employers and employees are not allowed to make the workplace an intimidating, hostile, or offensive place: it needs to be a safe space for every single worker. The failure to provide such a place gives the employee the right to sue.

How Do I Prove Racial Discrimination?

The most obvious form of evidence is direct evidence in which an employer all but criminalizes themselves by saying something that is against the law. Since discriminating against race is illegal, anything that has to do with race – in that it singles out an employee’s race and treats people differently because of it – is considered evidence. For example, if the employer is caught saying or writing something like, “As long as I’m in charge, there will never be a colored person in a managerial role,” that employer has broken the law. It does not happen often, but occasionally an employee will have direct evidence of racial discrimination. Employees may have heard their employer say something racist and so there are witnesses that can attest against that employer.

Some employers, however, know that saying something like that is against the law and so will refrain from making direct statements about race. They will act discreetly when it comes to their racism, but traces of their prejudice often remain. Taking action against an employer and proving that they acted in a racist way is not so easy.

If you don’t have direct evidence against your employer, you can still prove your case indirectly. Meaning that you have to prove to the courts that it was more likely than not that your employer discriminated against your race. This is known as prima facie – Latin for “at first glance.” In order to prove your case at prima facie you have to prove four (4) things:

  1. You are qualified for your job and are performing it adequately enough;
  2. You were denied a job benefit which is open to everyone else in your position or subjected to consequential job action;
  3. You belong to a protected class of people;
  4. The person who received the benefits for which you should have been considered is of a different race, or the company is still searching in the applicant pool.

So, for instance, let’s say that a Black employee was denied a promotion and you believe it was due to your race. Your Prima facie would be to prove that you were the most qualified person for the promotion and, even still, you did not receive the promotion, and the person who did get the promotion is white or some unprotected class of citizen.

The employer will then try and cover up their tracks by saying that their decision had nothing to do with race and that their decision was nondiscriminatory. In the example listed above, the employer may state that it was you, the employee’s, lack of skills/experience for the new promotion.

Can I be forced to work overtime?

It is ultimately up to you to prove that you were discriminated against. Again, using the previous example, you may prove that you had the most experience and were the most qualified by using your performance evaluations which clearly report that you had everything it took to be the one to receive the benefits of promotion.

What is Discrimination Law? – Discrimination in the Workplace

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If you believe that you have been racially discriminated against, contact the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group to ensure that justice is served and that you get the damages to which you are entitled. We offer a free consultation and a zero-fee guarantee. Our lawyers work on contingency, which means you never have to pay anything upfront. We will collect fees if and when we get you money. If we don’t get you money, you don’t have to pay us anything. This removes any financial risk from your part and transfers it onto us because if we don’t win, you don’t pay! Give us a call today.

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