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Racial Discrimination

Laws prohibiting racial discrimination have been in place since the 1960s, however that has not stopped some employers from treating people differently because of the color of their skin.

Forms of Racial Discrimination

There are two types of racial discrimination you should be aware of if you are a minority worker in the United States. First, disparate treatment occurs when an employer treats an employee differently than others because of his or her race. Disparate impact, on the other hand, occurs when an employer’s policies or practices intentionally or unintentionally discriminate against a race.

Racial Discrimination Laws

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits the discrimination or harassment of employees because of their race. This legislation was passed at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, and was designed to ensure African Americans were treated equally in the workplace. Although it was created with African Americans in mind, it protects all minority races.

Under Title VII, employers with fifteen or more employees cannot take someone’s race into consideration when making any job-related decision, including who to hire, fire, promote, or terminate. Even though this law only applies to employers with at least fifteen employees, there are state laws that may protect you even if you work for a smaller employer. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act, for example, offers the same protection, but applies to all employers with at least five employees.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Racial discrimination is prohibited by federal law, so a federal government agency known as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for investigating these complaints. If you are a racial discrimination victim, you must contact the EEOC to file a claim. The agency will conduct a thorough investigation and then either decide to file a lawsuit on your behalf or allow you proceed with a lawsuit on your own.

Although you may want to jump over this step and just file a lawsuit, this is not permitted. You have to file a claim with the EEOC and wait for the agency to conclude their investigation before taking legal action. This is because the courts want the EEOC to try to remedy the situation before it turns into a lawsuit. At the end of the EEOC’s investigation, if they do not file a lawsuit for you, you will be issued a notice of right-to-sue. This is the legal document that permits you to file a lawsuit with the help of an employment law attorney.

Proving Racial Discrimination

There are several different things a victim must show in order to prove racial discrimination. First, the victim must show he or she is a part of a racial minority. The victim also has to prove the employer took an adverse action against him or her, and the motivation for the action was solely the victim’s race. For example, if you were fired from a job and believe it was racial discrimination, you would need to prove the only reason you were fired is your race, and no other factors, such as your job performance, were involved in the decision.

Justice for Racial Discrimination Victims

If your employer has discriminated against you because of your race, you will need an attorney to defend your rights. But, don’t just trust any attorney. Contact the team at Shegerian Conniff to speak with a team of attorney who have the knowledge and experience needed to successfully seek justice against your employer.

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