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Race Discrimination

California has some of the strictest employment laws in the nation, preserving your right to receive fair treatment and equal benefits and protecting you from being exposed to hostile or discriminatory acts in the workplace.

Workplace Race Discrimination Comes in Many Forms

California employees enjoy comprehensive protections against race and color discrimination under both state and federal laws. These laws are designed to ensure all employees have equal employment opportunities and are treated fairly in the workplace regardless of their race or the color of their skin. Here’s an overview of the key protections:

Federal Laws

  • Civil Rights Act of 1964 – Title VII: This foundational law prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including federal, state, and local governments as well as private employers. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing these protections.
  • Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO): Under the EEO guidelines, employers cannot discriminate in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

California State Laws

  • Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA): This act provides broader protections than federal law, applying to employers with five or more employees. It prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, color, and other personal characteristics. FEHA is enforced by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
  • California Civil Rights Laws: Additional state civil rights laws also protect against race and color discrimination, reinforcing the rights of employees to work in an environment free from such biases.

Protections and Prohibitions

  • Harassment: Both federal and state laws prohibit harassment based on race or color, which can include racial slurs, offensive or derogatory remarks, or the display of racially offensive symbols. Harassment is illegal when it creates a hostile work environment or when an individual’s reaction to being harassed results in a tangible employment decision.
  • Retaliation: Retaliating against an individual for filing a discrimination complaint, participating in a discrimination investigation or lawsuit, or opposing discrimination is illegal under both federal and state laws.
  • Employment Policies: Policies that are not job-related and necessary to the operation of the business and that have a negative impact on employees of a particular race or color are prohibited unless the employer can show a legitimate need for such policies that cannot be achieved in a less discriminatory way.

California’s stance against race and color discrimination in the workplace is among the strongest in the United States, offering extensive protections and remedies for those who have been discriminated against. Employees have multiple avenues for seeking justice, reflecting the state’s commitment to promoting equality and preventing discrimination in all forms.

Our Approach

Our Practices are Guided by Integrity. We’ll protect what you deserve.

We work tirelessly and fight tenaciously to hold rights abusers accountable.

If you’ve experienced a distressing incident related to an issue like this, call us for a free case evaluation.

Did You Know?

Race Discrimination
Common forms of workplace race discrimination involve: screening out minority job applicants, refusing to hire them, excluding them from promotions, subjecting them to disciplinary action or termination, implementing pay disparities based on race, engaging in racial harassment, and crafting biased employment policies.
Color Discrimination
It's advisable to notify your supervisor or Human Resources (HR) department about any instances of color discrimination. By bringing the discrimination to their attention, you provide them with the chance to address the issue and create a record of the reported behavior.

Is It Illegal, or Just Unfair?

Legal cases can be lengthy, complicated, and confusing, but you don’t have to take on the system all by yourself. If you believe someone has violated your individual rights, or the rights of a large group of people in your community, we can help you find the right course of action.

Contact our California Employment Attorneys

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