If you’ve faced discrimination or harassment at work and believe it’s because of your race, it’s important to know where to turn. To prove racial discrimination, you have to be able to show that you were subjected to a negative job action because of your race. To do this successfully, you’ll benefit from working with a Charleston racial discrimination lawyer.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act bans employers from discriminating against employees or job applicants on the basis of race. Unfortunately, this does not stop all employers from taking such egregious actions. If you’ve been a victim of racial discrimination in the workplace, you have legal rights and options that can help you hold your employer accountable. Understanding the legal process and all that comes with that can seem overwhelming, which is why it’s best to have a strong legal representative by your side.
Racial Discrimination in the Workplace
Race discrimination involves an applicant or employee being treated unfairly because they are of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race like hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features. Discrimination can also occur because a person is married to or associated with a person of a certain race or color.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employees are protected from race and color discrimination in the following situations:
- Work situations. The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect or condition of employment. This includes hiring, firing, pay, assignments, promotions, training, layoff, benefits, and any other term of employment.
- Harassment. It is illegal to harass a person because of their race or color. Examples of harassment include racial slurs, racially offensive symbols, and derogatory remarks. Situations are considered harassment when they create a frequent and severe hostile or offensive work environment. Harassers may be supervisors, co-workers, or customers and clients.
- Employment policies and practices. Employment policies that apply to everyone may be considered discriminatory if they have a negative impact on the employment of people of a specific race and the policies are not job-related or necessary.
Types of Race Discrimination Claims
If you believe you’ve been discriminated against because of your race, it’s important to understand your legal rights and options. Filing a claim is a complex process, which is while you’ll want to have an understanding of the basis of your claim. Depending on your situation, one of the following could apply to you:
- Racially discriminatory treatment. If an employer intentionally subjects an employee to race discrimination, a complaint can be filed. If discrimination is suspected, there must be proof that the adverse action was racially motivated.
- Race retaliation. If an employee is fired or otherwise punished for filing a race discrimination complaint, that employee would also have grounds to file a retaliation claim. It’s important to note that it is possible to prevail with a retaliation claim, even if a race discrimination claim falls flat.
- Disparate impact. This refers to policies or practices that adversely affect members of a certain race more than others. They do not require any intent to discriminate. For example, the Supreme Court ruled that employment requirements like aptitude tests that disparately impact members of ethnic minorities are illegal if the requirements are not related to employment requirements.
If you believe you have a valid claim resulting from a different type of adverse action, get in touch with our Charleston racial discrimination attorney. They can evaluate your situation and help you determine how best to proceed.
Proving Racial Discrimination in Charleston
In the event you believe you are being racially discriminated against by your employer, keep a detailed log of the incident you believe show racial bias. Find out if your employer has a policy for reporting such events. If you are unsure of your rights or how to proceed, consult an employment law attorney.
To have a valid discrimination claim, there are certain requirements you must meet first, which include the following:
- Being a member of a protected class, as defined by Title VII
- Being qualified for the job in question
- The employer must have taken adverse action against you
- It was be evident that the employer took the adverse action because of racial discrimination
Those requirements establish what is called a prima facie case, which means “on its face,” or “at first glance.” This is done to prevent potentially frivolous claims that waste time and resources.
If your situation meets those conditions, then you can proceed with filing. Depending on the situation, you could file with the EEOC or with the state. Either way, you can cross-file and both organizations will recognize your complaint.
To support your claim, you’ll need specific evidence. Evidence can be direct or comparative. Direct evidence could include negative comments, while comparative evidence could be detailing punishments for activities that employees of other races engaged in without any problems. If a claim is filed with the EEOC, circumstantial evidence can also be taken into account.
Get Help From DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC
If you’ve suffered from racial discrimination at your place of work, you deserve justice. A Charleston racial discrimination lawyer from DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC can evaluate your situation, and explain what your rights are.
If you choose to file a claim, we’ll be by your side every step of the way to ensure your employer is held accountable for their negligence. To learn more, contact us today to schedule a case evaluation.