Treating an applicant or an employee disparagingly or unfavorably because of the color of their skin or their race is deemed as racial discrimination. This can include targeting physical characteristics or displaying intolerance toward cultural identity. Physical traits can be hair texture, skin color, and facial features. In the United States, it is illegal to discriminate against employees based on race or color and applies to any aspect of employment (hiring, firing, layoffs, job assignments, pay, fringe benefits, training) and any other term or condition of employment.
Racial discrimination can range in severity and begin with occasional benign teasing or joking, however it can evolve into a very grave and serious issue if left unresolved. Most victims of racial discrimination at work experience an unacceptable amount of discomfort, stress, and are unable to execute their job duties.
There are two kinds of workplace racial discrimination, direct and indirect. Direct racial discrimination involves treating a person unfairly or worse than others because that individual has a protected characteristic such as skin color or race, or because they are affiliated with a person or group of people of the same color, race, or protected characteristics. An example of direct racial discrimination would be writing up an employee because their hair texture or cultural hairstyle does not meet a company’s business professional attire policy or making fun of an employee because the color of their skin is different than that of other employees.
Indirect racial discrimination occurs when a companywide policy is enforced but is harmful or disadvantageous to a group of individuals who are of a certain color or race. This can be a guideline, practice or arrangement set by the employer. For example, a supervisor that sets a policy forbidding employees to speak a language other than English while on company property, under any circumstances, would be practicing indirect racial discrimination.
An employee who is a victim of racial discrimination has 180 days to file a charge with the EEOC, which may be extended by state laws. Federal employees have 45 days to contact an EEO counselor.
To qualify for a racial discrimination claim, an employee must work or have worked for an employer with 15 or more employees.
The above is intended as a general guide to better understand potential claims against employers with respect to racial discrimination in the workplace. Your claims may be time sensitive and we encourage you to complete our free case evaluation request to increase the chance of meeting deadlines for filing your claim. Employment attorneys at Spielberger Law Group are passionate about employment law and are true advocates of employees whose rights have been violated.
Once you’ve completed our free case evaluation form, an employment lawyer licensed to practice employment law in your state will review your statements and you will be contacted by our firm after determining whether you have claims to pursue. Do not miss your opportunity to bring justice to your workplace, contact us today for the chance to receive the best recovery possible.