Orange County Race Discrimination Lawyer
When California residents apply for employment or land a job, they expect to be judged by their qualifications and/or work performance, not their race. Unfortunately, not all employers meet this basic, legally required expectation. When this happens, it may be necessary to contact an Orange County workplace race discrimination attorney for assistance.
What is race discrimination in the workplace?
Workplace race discrimination occurs when a job applicant or employee is treated less favorably than another job applicant or employee because of his or her race, perceived race or color. This type of discrimination can be direct, such as when an employer purposely excludes a group based on their race, or indirectly, such as when a workplace policy excludes people of a certain race or ethnicity for reasons unrelated to their job performance or qualifications.
State and federal laws protect employees from race discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides federal protections, while the California Fair Housing and Employment Act offers statewide protections. These laws are enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, or DFEH.
What is the difference between race discrimination and color discrimination?
Race and color discrimination are closely related terms, but they have different definitions.
Race discrimination is an all-encompassing term that involves discrimination based on someone’s race. It can include bias based on skin color, facial features or hair texture. It can also include bias based on cultural characteristics or practices associated with race as well as medical conditions linked to race.
Color discrimination is a form of race discrimination based on the shade, tone, complexion or pigmentation of someone’s skin. This type of discrimination can take place between people of different races or ethnicities or people of the same race or ethnicity.
Examples of race discrimination in the workplace
Racial discrimination can happen to employees working in any industry. It can also occur during any stage of employment, including the hiring process, training, assignments, and promotions. Some of the most common examples of race discrimination include:
- Declining to hire job applicants because of their race
- Firing employees based on their race
- Failing to promote or offer training or assignment opportunities to employees because of their race
- Illegally segregating or classifying employees due to their race
- Direct or indirect harassment of employees based on their race
- Workplace race discrimination statistics
Studies show that race-based discrimination is still a significant problem in America. A CNN/Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 69 percent of African Americans and 57 percent of Hispanics believe that racial discrimination is a significant issue for their racial group. In the same poll, 26 percent of African Americans and 15 percent of Hispanics said they had experienced unfair race-related bias at their workplace within the past 30 days.
The EEOC reports that it received a total of 84,254 workplace discrimination charges of all types in 2017. Of those, 28,528, or 33.9 percent, involved race. Over the past 21 years, race discrimination charges have accounted for an average of 35.5 percent of all discrimination charges received by the agency every year, accounting for a high of 37.3 percent in 1999 and a low of 33.7 in 2012. In comparison, race discrimination charges have trended upward over the same period. Racial discrimination claims made up just 0.9 percent of all charges reported to the EEOC in 1997. By 2017, racial discrimination claims accounted for 3.8 percent of all charges.
Do I need to hire a workplace race discrimination lawyer?
Racial discrimination takes a negative toll on a person’s quality of life, happiness, and career. However, victims of race-based discrimination have the legal right to report incidents of race or color discrimination and seek compensation in court.
An Orange County workplace race discrimination lawyer could assess a victim’s case to determine if it makes a prima facie case of discrimination. To meet this standard, a case must show:
- The job applicant or employee is a member of a protected class
- The job applicant or employee is qualified for the job and/or performing the job in a satisfactory manner
- The job applicant or employee suffered harm in the form of a denied job, promotion, assignment or benefit
- The other job applicant or employee who received the job, promotion, assignment or benefit was a member of a different race or ethnicity
Once a claim has been assessed, a lawyer could prepare and file a complaint with the EEOC or the DFEH. This action could lead to a settlement that covers damages such as:
- Back pay and/or front pay
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages
- Attorneys’ fees and court costs
Individuals who believe they have been the victims of race-based discrimination could learn more about their legal options by contacting an Orange County workplace race discrimination attorney for a consultation.
- This article should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship with anyone. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney in your community.
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Race Discrimination Lawyer
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