Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark anti-discrimination law enacted by the federal government that includes protection from racial discrimination in the workplace. It’s been over a half a century since this law first passed. And it’s distressing that prejudices against race and the color of one’s skin, whether unconscious or deep-seated, still exist to cause discrimination in the workplace. Fortunately, you can count on the attorneys at Schwimer Weinstein to apply the laws that protect you from discriminatory behavior.
Federal and state laws that protect against racial discrimination
Title VII, mentioned above, applies to companies with 15 or more employees. It protects workers from racial discrimination and discriminatory employment practices in every step of the employment process. This includes hiring, firing, promotion, wages and salary. Title VII also covers numerous other protected categories, such as gender and disability.
In California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) expands oversight to employers with five or more employees who are either full- or part-time.
Two categories of racial discrimination
Disparate Treatment – Defines instances where an employee is treated differently from other employees specifically because of his or her race.
Disparate Impact – Describes how employment practices are applied. Some practices at first glance may appear neutral, but in reality are actually discriminatory in how they impact the workforce. Practices that can have a disparate impact include written tests, physical or educational requirements.
How does the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) factor in?
The EEOC is the top federal administrative agency responsible for addressing racial discrimination claims in the workplace. Courts require that before an employee can file a lawsuit for racial discrimination against their employer, they must first file a charge with the EEOC.
The EEOC then begins an investigation to determine whether they should take action in the case. If the agency declines, the employee may then proceed to file a lawsuit in the court of law.
How does one prove racial discrimination at work?
An employee must show that he or she is a member of a racial minority who applied and was qualified for a job. You then must show that despite being qualified, you were rejected for the job and that afterwards, the employer kept looking for candidates with the same qualifications.
If you feel you’ve been a victim of racial discrimination, one of our experienced attorneys at Schwimer Weinstein can make you sure you receive the counsel and attention your situation deserves.
We can help. Contact Schwimer Weinstein for a free, no-obligation consultation.