Los Angeles Race Discrimination Lawyer
Racial discrimination in employment is prohibited under California and federal law. Employers that engage in racial discrimination deserve to be held accountable, and employees who experience discrimination in employment deserve the full remedies available under the law. If you believe you have a claim, we encourage you to contact us so that a Los Angeles race discrimination lawyer at Attorneys for Employees can take appropriate legal action on your behalf.
What Qualifies as Racial Discrimination in Employment?
Racial discrimination involves treating job applicants or employees differently based on their race. As the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) explains, it also involves treating applicants and employees differently “because of personal characteristics associated with race (such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features).”
Both the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibit racial discrimination in employment. Along with racial discrimination, FEHA and Title VII also prohibit discrimination on the basis of color and national origin. If an employer makes an employment-related decision that negatively impacts an employee based on the employee’s race, color, or national origin, this decision may violate FEHA, Title VII, or both.
1. Employment-Related Decisions Based on Race
As with other forms of discrimination, racial discrimination is prohibited in all aspects of employment including hiring, termination, and everything in between. If you have experienced any of the following because of your race, an experienced Los Angeles race discrimination attorney can help you assert your legal rights:
- Denied a job opportunity;
- Denied a promotion;
- Paid less than similarly situated employees;
- Offered fewer training opportunities, fringe benefits, or other benefits of employment or
- Terminated from your employment.
Since most employers know that racial discrimination is illegal, when making race-based employment decisions, they will often try to create a legitimate justification for their actions. For example, an employer may write a negative performance review and put it in an employee’s file before firing the employee. In that instance, if the employee’s race still remains a reason behind the employer’s decision, the negative performance review does not excuse the employer’s wrongful conduct. In fact, even if an employer has a legitimate justification along with a discriminatory purpose, this type of mixed-motive employment decision-making scenario violates the employee’s rights under FEHA and Title VII.
2. Racial Harassment in the Workplace
Employees in Los Angeles can also file racial discrimination claims if they experience harassment in the workplace. As the EEOC explains, while isolated incidents typically do not rise to the level of harassment, employees can file racial discrimination claims if offensive comments or conduct are “so frequent or severe that [they] create a hostile or offensive work environment or when [t]hey result in an adverse employment decision.”
Similar to other forms of racial discrimination (and other forms of discrimination in general), racial harassment can take many different forms. Some can be overt, while others can be more subtle—but no less impactful. For example, you may have a racial harassment claim in Los Angeles if you have experienced or witnessed the following:
- Racial or ethnic slurs;
- Derogatory remarks about your race, color, or national origin;
- Display of racially-offensive symbols;
- Abusive comments or treatment based on your race, color, or national origin; and
- Disparate treatment, exclusion, or isolation based on your race, color, or national origin.
Unfortunately, all of these examples remain far too common in all types of workplaces. Whether you have experienced racial harassment perpetrated by your manager, supervisor, or coworkers, you sadly are not alone. But, like other victims, you have clear legal rights, and you can hire a Los Angles race discrimination lawyer to assert these rights on your behalf.
3. Race-Based and Racially-Motivated Employment Policies and Practices
FEHA and Title VII also prohibit employers from adopting and enforcing race-based and racially-motivated employment policies and procedures. This includes policies and procedures that are overtly biased as well as those that are biased in their effect. While a policy that expressly provides for disparate treatment of employees of different races is clearly unlawful, so is a policy that is facially neutral but disproportionately affects employees of a certain race. The EEOC gives the following example:
“[A] ‘no-beard’ employment policy that applies to all workers without regard to race or national origin may still be unlawful . . . [if it] is not related to the job and in effect disproportionately harms employment opportunities based on race or national origin.”
This is just one example of many. Employment policies and practices that disproportionately affect employees who are members of racial minority groups are exceedingly common. While some of these policies and practices are born out of ignorance, some of them are intentional. But ignorance is not an excuse, and employees who experience disproportionate negative consequences as a result of their race can—and should—consult with a lawyer regardless of the specific circumstances involved.
What Should I Do If I Am a Victim of Race Discrimination in Employment?
If you are a victim of racial discrimination in employment, you will want to be very careful to protect your legal rights. While you may want to complain to your coworkers or post on social media, this might not be the best approach, at least not right now. Before you do anything that could jeopardize your legal rights, you should consult with one of our Los Angeles race discrimination attorneys. We can walk you through what to do and what not to do, and if you have a racial discrimination claim, we can file a claim with the California Civil Rights Department (CRD) or the EEOC. If necessary, we will file a lawsuit in order to pursue your racial discrimination claim.
Speak with One of Our Experienced Los Angeles Race Discrimination Lawyers in Confidence
If you need to know more about your legal rights as a victim of employment-related racial discrimination in California, we encourage you to contact us for an initial consultation. To speak with an experienced Los Angeles race discrimination lawyer in confidence, get in touch online today.