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What is Racial Discrimination in the California Workplace?

Have you been discriminated against by your Orange County employer because of your race? According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), you are not alone. In fact, in 2014, over 31,000 employees filed racial discrimination claims against their employers. In second place, with over 26,000 claims, was gender discrimination. These numbers are troubling and indicate that discrimination against qualified, hard-working workers happens all too often.

What is racial discrimination?

According the the EEOC, race discrimination involves an employer treating an applicant or employee unfavorably because s/he is of a certain race. What’s more, a worker can be discriminated against of personal characteristics associated with a certain race (such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features). Even if your supervisor or boss is of the same race or color as you, if he mistreats you because of your race, it is discrimination.

Examples of race-based discrimination in California can include:

  • refusing to hire an applicant based on race;
  • firing or disciplining an employee because of their race;
  • paying an employee less or providing them fewer benefits on account of their race;
  • failing to promote an employee because of their race; and
  • improperly classifying or segregating employees or applicants by race.

This list is not exhaustive. To determine if you have been the victim of discrimination at your place of work, contact an experienced Orange County employment lawyer.

Laws against discrimination

If you have been the victim of racial discrimination at work, know that the law is on your side. In fact, both California and federal law clearly state that discrimination in any form, including because of race or skin color, is against the law. The primary federal law that addresses racial discrimination in the workplace is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) enforces laws that protect you from illegal workplace discrimination.

How to file a racial discrimination lawsuit

Prior to filing a lawsuit in civil court for racial discrimination in the workplace, an employee must exhaust certain administrative remedies. This involves filing charges with the EEOC and/or with the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing and obtaining a “right to sue” letter. These charges can be filed online or by mail, and your Orange County employment lawyer can review them with you to ensure that you are providing the necessary information.

If you believe you have been discriminated against at work because of your skin color or race, contact the employment attorneys at Hardin & Associates today to discuss your potential case and potential for financial compensation.