Racial Discrimination

Abramson Labor Group – Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination laws date back to the 1960s with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This should have ended racial discrimination in the workplace, but it didn’t. Discrimination based on race or color is still a problem. In a 2019 Pew Research survey, 8 out of 10 blacks reported their race made it harder to get a promotion or pay increase at work.

The color of your skin shouldn’t impact how you’re treated at work. If it does, there are two types of racial discrimination.

  1. Disparate Treatment – This type of racial discrimination occurs when employees of another race are treated differently.
  2. Disparate Impact – This type of racial discrimination takes place when the company or business’s policies or ways the business is run cause racial discrimination. It can be intentional or unintentional.

An example of disparate treatment would be a co-worker who makes regular comments about your skin color on a daily basis. It’s been going on for weeks or months and is making you uncomfortable at work, which is impacting your job performance.

An example of disparate impact would be a company that requires an IQ test before hiring new employees. The company isn’t aware of it, but that test has been found to be harder for some races than others and leads to lower scores for certain groups. The requirement that the test still is used to decide who gets hired is an example of disparate impact.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

The laws that protect you against racial discrimination are found in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. These laws apply as long as the company has 15 or more employees. Under these laws, you cannot be fired or laid off over someone else if your race is used to make that decision. You cannot be denied a job solely on the basis of your skin color.

Any business decision that’s made using your race as the determining factor violates Title VII. In addition to hiring/termination decisions, companies cannot use your race to determine salary, promotions, benefits, participation in training programs/apprenticeships, or job duties.

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act

While Title VII only applies if there are 15 or more employees in your company, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act offers additional protection. It applies to a company with 5 or more employees. If a smaller company in California is harassing or discriminating against a worker for his/her race, the worker has the right to file a complaint.

Examples of Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination comes in the two types, but there are several scenarios that count as racial discrimination. Some of the more clear cut examples include being laid off or losing a promotion to someone with less seniority and experience who isn’t a racial minority.

If you’re hired to be a receptionist, your boss cannot transfer you to a remote office to keep you out of sight of a client that has made comments about your skin color.

An employer cannot advertise that they are looking for factory workers, but they only want applications from certain races.

If a company decides to form a union, they cannot bar members of certain races from joining that union.

A business cannot send a team of marketing representatives to an out-of-state conference but require those of a certain color to stay behind due to worries that the state the group is traveling to may not welcome people of color.

A Federal Agency Oversees Racial Discrimination Investigations

Laws protect people of color from being discriminated or harassed in the workplace. This covers workers, management, owners, and customers. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the federal group that responds to and investigates claims. If you believe you’ve been a victim of racial discrimination, start by contacting the EEOC. They will investigate and let you know the outcome. If they don’t file a lawsuit, take the notice of right-to-sue and contact a law firm that specializes in employment law.

Proving discrimination may seem hard, but it’s not impossible. You must be able to prove or show you are a minority when it comes to your race. You have to prove your employer took action against you based on your race. Some of the ways you can document this are by having witnesses, text message or email exchanges, and proof that your job performance was satisfactory and not a reason for dismissal, lack of a promotion or raise, or a demotion.

Abramson Labor Group is on your side. The employment law attorneys specialize in discrimination in the workplace and strive to get you the results you deserve. They’re by your side during every step. You have an advocate to support you and help you get fair treatment and equality in the workplace. Contact Abramson Labor Group to schedule a consultation.