According to PEW Research, 65% of all Americans say racist views have become more prevalent throughout the nation within the past few years. Unfortunately, many of these views are expressed at workplaces in California, especially due to the state’s multicultural population.
In 2011, The EEOC claimed to have received more than 35,395 unique complaints relating to racial discrimination. There were more than 2,300 charges filed against employers by current and prospective employees.
There are regulations enforced in California designed to protect applicants and employees from racial discrimination, and these laws say that no employer may discriminate against an individual because of their religion, color, race, or national origin.
If you have experienced this firsthand, you might be wondering whether to hire a Los Angeles racial discrimination lawyer. To determine whether you need a Los Angeles employment lawyer, you really need to book a consultation and discuss your situation alongside a legal professional.
What is Racial Discrimination?
Racial discrimination involves treating people differently because of their race. In the context of employment, it involves inequality in the workplace between workers of different racial backgrounds.
Racial discrimination is illegal in California due to laws that date back to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Racial discrimination may include overt actions, such as firing an employee for being Chinese or telling a worker they will never be promoted because they are not fully white.
Racial discrimination may also include less obvious actions, such as promoting one employee over another simply because of their race.
What are the Laws that Protect Against Racial Discrimination?
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act protects people from racial discrimination in both public and private sectors. The Civil Rights Department in California is responsible for enforcing laws against workplace discrimination based on race, gender, belief, and a range of other “protected classes.”
The Civil Rights Department clearly states that it is illegal to engage in racial discrimination, regardless of whether it involves a business interview process, promotion policy, terminations, working conditions, compensation, training, and unionization.
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act applies to public employers, private employers, labor organizations, and employment agencies.
Examples of Racial Discrimination in the Workplace
Here are a few examples of racial discrimination in the workplace:
- Not hiring qualified job applicants because of their race
- Lower wages compared to peers with an equivalent job
- Denying workers opportunities for promotion based on race, skin color, or national origin
- Racist jokes and inappropriate comments being tolerated
- Slurs and harassment
- Giving fewer work assignments or unfavorable job assignments
- Excluding workers from training
- Wrongful termination
- Employer retaliation against workers who file discrimination complaints
- Reduced wages due to race
- Lack of work assignments due to race
- No access to benefits due to race
- No possibility for promotion due to race
What is Disparate Treatment?
One type of racial discrimination is called “disparate treatment.” Although this might sound like a complex phrase, “disparate” is simply another word for “different.” So, when you hear “disparate treatment,” what it really means is that your employer is treating you differently compared to everyone else. Employers may also treat entire groups differently compared to other workers based on race.
- Being passed over for promotions because of your race
- Being verbally harassed because of your race
- Workplace rules were applied differently to one racial group
What is Required to Prove Disparate Treatment Occurred?
In order to prove that you experienced disparate treatment, you must prove three elements:
- That you are a member of a protected group due to your color or race.
- That your employer took action against you in the workplace. This includes failure to hire, a pay decrease, termination, and any other action that has harmed your employment status.
- That the action your employer took was based on your color or race.
What is Disparate Impact?
The second type of racial discrimination is called “disparate impact.” This type of discrimination is a little more complicated because it usually involves an employer’s policies rather than direct treatment. Even if the policy does not specifically mention race, it may nonetheless impact a specific racial group in a negative manner. An employer can be guilty of disparate impact discrimination even if they never intended to create a racist policy.
- Native English Speaker Requirements:
- Hiring only naturally blonde people
- Not hiring people from a neighborhood with a known Latino population
What Can I Do if I Face Racial Discrimination in the Workplace?
An important step is to gather as much evidence as possible immediately after racial discrimination occurs.
Can I Sue My Employer for Racial Discrimination?
Yes, you can sue your employer for racial discrimination, and you may receive compensation as a result.
Can I File a Racial Discrimination Case if I am No Longer Employed at the Company Where the Discrimination Took Place?
Yes, you can sue even if you are no longer employed. These actions are always illegal – whether they took place a few days ago or a few months ago.
What Should I Do if I Witness Racial Discrimination in the Workplace?
You should always report racial discrimination if you witness it in your workplace. Rest assured that you cannot be fired for reporting this, and your employer is legally barred from retaliating against you in any way.
Can I Be Discriminated Against By Someone of the Same Race?
Yes. According to the California Department of Social Services: “Discrimination can occur when the person being discriminated against and the person who is discriminating are in the same class or group.”
Can I Be Fired for Reporting Racial Discrimination?
No, you cannot be fired for reporting racial discrimination in California. In fact, the state has strict laws against retaliation against whistleblowers – such as the Fair Employment and Housing Act. If you were fired for reporting racial discrimination, you are fully justified in suing your employer for wrongful termination.
Is Racial Discrimination Limited to Minorities?
There is little mention of the word “minorities” in California’s racial discrimination laws. Instead, the laws protect all races against discrimination, and only the word “race” is mentioned as a protected class under California law. Generally speaking, there is no “majority” in California, as the Public Policy Institute of California clearly states that the largest racial group in California is Latino – followed by whites and Asian Americans.
In other words, you can be discriminated against in the workplace regardless of your race – even if you are a white male. A number of verdicts have proven that white, older men can sue their employers for termination based on “diversity policies.” and for “reverse racism.”
Can My Employer Ask About My Race?
In almost all situations, it is unlawful for employers to ask about your race or national origin during the interview or screening process. While the EEOC states that these questions may be acceptable for lawful purposes, it’s very difficult to prove that this is a necessary part of the interview process. In California, strict anti-discrimination laws make it a very bad idea for employers to ask these questions.
If you were asked these questions during an interview, it is important to get evidence, if possible. For example, you might have been given a paper or digital questionnaire that asked you about your race. Save these documents and provide them to a racial discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles.
How Much Compensation Will I Receive in a Racial Discrimination Lawsuit?
If you are wondering whether it may be a good idea to sue for racial discrimination, you may consider possible compensation. It is impossible for an attorney to predict how much your recovery will be. You might not want to spend months or even years going through a lawsuit if your compensation amount is minimal. That being said, many racial discrimination lawsuits result in six or seven-figure settlements. For example, in 2022, it was reported that a Black Tesla worker had received a $15-million settlement after a successful racial discrimination lawsuit. Initially, a federal jury awarded a much higher award of $137 million, although this was later reduced by a federal judge.
Generally speaking, compensation is calculated based on your losses. In a discrimination lawsuit, these losses or “damages” may be both economic and non-economic. Economic damages are financial in nature, and they may include missed wages. For example, you may have missed out on weeks, months, or even years of wages after being fired for your race. You might have also missed out on a promotion due to your race – meaning that you could have earned much more over the past few years. You can be compensated for all of these missed earnings as part of your settlement.
Your settlement might also include compensation for non-economic damages. These are emotional or psychological in nature. For example, you might have suffered severe humiliation as a result of your racial discrimination. You might also have developed depression, anxiety, or PTSD as a result of your experiences. All of these non-economic damages may be lumped together under the umbrella term “emotional distress” or “pain and suffering.” In many cases, your non-economic damages push your settlement into the six or seven-figure range.
What Should I Look for in a Los Angeles Racial Discrimination Attorney?
When assessing a Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer, there are a number of things you should keep in mind.
First of all, you should consider the lawyer’s experience level. Have they dealt with racial discrimination lawsuits before? What is their track record, and what kinds of settlements have they won for their clients over the years? Is this lawyer familiar with California-specific employment laws?
But the most important thing is whether you feel you can work with your lawyer over the long term. Your best bet is to research and then book a consultation with a potential racial discrimination attorney in Los Angeles.
Fraigun Law Can Help With Your Racial Discrimination Case
You should consider Fraigun Law because of our many years of experience with lawsuits involving employment law. We have helped numerous plaintiffs pursue positive outcomes, and we can guide you to the same results.
If you have been searching for a Los Angeles racial discrimination lawyer, look no further than the Fraigun Law Group. During your first consultation, we can discuss your unique situation and determine the best route forward. After confirming that you have a legitimate racial discrimination case, you can start taking action against your employer to hold them accountable. Remember, internet research only gets you so far – so get in touch today and take your first steps toward justice.