Racial Discrimination

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California is a diverse state, yet racial discrimination complaints are very common.  The law on the matter is clear – employers can’t pay you differently, refuse to hire you, promote you, or treat you worse than other employees because of the color of your skin, or the country you are from.

Race is generally defined as a person’s ancestry (where your parents and grandparents are from) or their ethnic characteristics. Each individual is some race or color. It’s illegal to discriminate against a worker or potential employee for those reasons. This may include salary, promotions, whether a person is hired or other acts.

Discrimination may take the form of outright different treatment, or be less difficult to spot but permeated by ethnic slurs and derogatory comments. Further, discrimination based association with people of a particular race is also prohibited. In other words, if someone doesn’t like the fact that you married someone of another race, religion or national origin, a discrimination case can result.  Perhaps your boss is pleased with your performance until he realizes you have a lot of friends who are Muslims.

Discrimination doesn’t just include the above, however. It includes practices which are facially non-discriminatory, but result in discrimination.  For example, if a test used to determine employment eligibility results in eliminating all the candidates from a certain country, it may be determined to be illegal.

If your factory has all the white workers on day shift and all the workers of other races on the night shift, this could be a discriminatory practice.  If your workplace is all African American, but they refuse to hire those with darker skin tone, that’s discrimination. A height requirement might even qualify as discriminatory in some cases.  Situations like this could result in a class action, because the policy results in similar treatment for everyone in the same category.  A recent case settled by the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission alleges a hostile work involvement because workers of African-American, Latino and East Indian heritage were called racial slurs by management employees.  Drivers alleged they got worse assignments from their employer because of that fact.  Another case recently settled by the agency involved allegations that a private university forced higher standards for tenure on an African American assistant professor, the first of her race attempting to do so at that employer.

Often, employees fear making complaints because they are afraid they will be fired.  However, such incidents can result in a cause of action for retaliation, as making such complaints is a protected action.

If you have questions about the discrimination law you should contact us for a free case evaluation 1-877-219-8481