Racial Discrimination in the workplaceRace discrimination in hiring and in employment settings happens on a daily basis across the country. Even in California, one of the most diverse states in the nation, thousands of race discrimination complaints and lawsuits are filed against employers each year. Have you been the victim of race discrimination in your workplace?

Race discrimination isn't just harmful; it’s a violation of your civil rights and is illegal. Both state and federal laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employee applicants or current employees based on their actual or perceived race (or racial characteristics). Our laws give workers who have faced race discrimination the right to hold their employers accountable. 

Have you experienced race discrimination on the job or in a job interview? At JCS Law Firm, our exceptional Los Angeles employment law team can help you understand your legal rights and options and fight for fair compensation for the damages and losses you incurred as a result. Here's what you should know.

Recognizing Employment Race Discrimination 

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) both prohibit race discrimination and retaliation for reporting it. However, the FEHA offers the most comprehensive protections for employees. Based on the FEHA, it's illegal for employers to harass or discriminate against job applicants or employees on the basis of race, birthplace, ethnicity, skin color, heritage, or traditionally race-associated hair textures or styles. California recently became the first state to outlaw racial discrimination based on hairstyle. The CROWN Act, enacted through California Senate Bill 188 in 2019, adds traits historically associated with race to California’s list of classifications protected from discrimination.

Sometimes racial discrimination is subtle, like based on hairstyle, and sometimes racial discrimination is overt, like when employers use racial slurs or deny certain racial minorities employment opportunities for promotion and advancement.

Racial harassment or discrimination in the employment context is illegal, regardless of whether it's intentional, based on actual or perceived protected characteristics, or due to association with someone of another race or skin color.

Employment race discrimination usually falls into one of two categories: disparate treatment, in which an employer's actions target an employee (or group of employees) because of their race (or protected characteristics); and disparate impact, in which an employer's policies or practices negatively affect employees by race or ethnicity. 

Examples of race discrimination in the workplace include:

  • Refusing to hire applicants because of their race, skin color, or ethnicity
  • Declining to select employees for training programs or special assignments based on race
  • Demotions
  • Terminations
  • Pay reductions
  • Denying benefits
  • Assignment to different or less favorable duties
  • Refusing to promote
  • Forced resignation
  • Isolation from other employees
  • Other adverse actions regarding the terms, conditions, privileges, or benefits of employment