The Rankin Law Firm is dedicated to helping workers in California fight back against racial discrimination in the workplace. Although state and federal laws prohibit employers from making race-based employment decisions, racial discrimination permeates many work environments. If you believe you have been treated unfairly by an employer because of your racial or ethnic characteristics, you need the powerful representation we provide.
Well-versed in applicable anti-discrimination laws, we regularly work to protect the rights of clients in both administrative and court proceedings. If you have been denied an employment opportunity, overlooked for a promotion, or had an adverse employment action taken against you (e.g. firing, demotion) based on your race, color, or national origin, you may have a valid racial discrimination claim.
Our employment discrimination attorneys are here to help protect your rights and explore all your legal remedies. Above all, we believe that no one should put up with racial discrimination in the workplace. When you become our client, we will help you stand up for your employment rights. Contact our office today so we can start working on your claim.
How to Identify Racial Discrimination in the Workplace
Racial discrimination in the workplace can come in many forms, some subtle, others blatantly apparent. Some examples include:
- Refusing to hire a candidate based on his or her race or ethnicity
- Offering a lower rate of pay or inferior terms of employment based on race
- Denying some employees training and promotional opportunities due to their race
- Being subjected to racial slurs, offensive jokes or comments by supervisors, coworkers, vendors, customers
In short, employers are prohibited from making employment decisions or taking adverse employment actions against an employee based on race, ethnicity, or national origin. If you believe you have been discriminated against by an employer, turn to The Rankin Law Firm. We are committed to eliminating employment discrimination in all its forms.
Racial Discrimination in the Workplace Is Illegal in California
Racial discrimination in the workplace violates both federal and state laws. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for example, it is illegal to discriminate based on race, ethnicity, national origin, and other characteristics (e.g. age, disability, religion).
Title VII only applies to employers with 15 or more employees, however. Also, before filing a lawsuit, it is necessary to file a charge with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Our employment lawyers have extensive experience representing clients in EEOC proceedings and work to achieve positive outcomes for our clients through the conciliation process. When a resolution cannot be reached, the EEOC may issue a right to sue letter if the agency finds there was a basis for a claim.
We will also pursue your legal remedies under the California Fair Employment Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). The state law provides you with stronger legal recourse because it applies to employers with 5 or more employees. Moreover, the FEHA was amended by the CROWN Act (Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) in 2019. In sum, the FEHA was amended to expand the definition of racial discrimination to include natural hairstyles associated with race, including braids, locks, and twists.
Before you can file a lawsuit, you must file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). If a negotiated settlement cannot be reached, it may be possible to obtain an immediate right to sue notice from the agency. Trust our experienced employment attorneys to assess all the factors in your case and advise you on the best course of action.
Understanding Disparate Treatment and Disparate Impact Racial Discrimination
Generally, there are two forms of employment discrimination — disparate treatment and disparate impact:
Disparate Treatment Discrimination
This type of discrimination occurs when an employee is treated less favorably than employees in a similar situation because of his or her race. Disparate treatment also occurs when employees with physical characteristics associated with a specific race or ethnicity (e.g. hair texture, skin color, or facial features), are treated less favorably than other employees.
Examples of disparate treatment discrimination based on race include:
- Exclusively offering promotions or other employment benefits to white employees
- Requiring drug testing only for African American workers
- Prohibiting natural hairstyles in the workplace
In short, employers are required to treat employees and job applicants fairly with respect to any employment decision or the application of any policy or procedure.
Disparate Impact Discrimination
Disparate impact discrimination can be more difficult to identify; however, it occurs when an employer applies the same policy, rule, or practice to every employee, but has a disproportionately negative impact on employees based on their race, ethnicity, or national origin.
As an example, refusing to hire candidates with an arrest or criminal record may have a disparate impact on African American men. To justify the policy, an employer must be able to demonstrate that it has a legitimate job-related basis.
Do I Have a Valid Racial Discrimination Claim?
To have a valid discrimination claim based on race we must be able to demonstrate that you:
- Are a member of a protected class (e.g. African American)
- Were qualified for job or performed it adequately
- Were denied a benefit of employment (e.g. job offer, promotion) or subjected to an adverse employment action (e.g. termination, demotion)
- You suffered harm as a result (lost wages, future income, benefits)
At The Rankin Law Firm, we have the skills and experience to prove the elements of a racial discrimination claim and will fight to protect your rights inside and outside of the courtroom.
Contact Our Experienced California Racial Discrimination Attorneys
If you have been subjected to racial discrimination in the workplace, you probably have concerns about your future prospects, your finances, and your reputation. Our experienced employment discrimination attorneys will address your concerns by providing you with informed representation and dependable service.
Above all, we will always work in your best interests and make sure your right to equal employment opportunities is protected. The sooner you contact our office, the sooner we can start working on your racial discrimination claim.