The most common form of discrimination investigated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is race discrimination. 2011 data from the E.E.O.C. indicates that 35.4 percent of the claims filed with the E.E.O.C. concern race discrimination. Both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act prohibit employers from discriminating against their employees “because of” their race or color. That means that employers may not take your race or color, or your perceived race or color, into consideration in making employment decisions.
Racial discrimination takes many forms in the workplace. Sometimes it is blatant – racial slurs, racial graffiti, cartoons, offensive pictures and other offensive objects, such as nooses. These overt forms of racism are considered racial harassment and are illegal under several federal and state laws. If your employer is aware of the harassment and fails to stop it, your employer may be held liable for its failure to act.
Often, though, racial discrimination in the workplace is less obvious. Sophisticated employers often engage in race discrimination through subtle practices that tend to screen out minority applicants and employees such as pre-employment testing and screening, subjective hiring and promotion practices (so-called “tap on the shoulder” selection processes), relying on arrest records in making employment decisions, and discriminatory recruiting practices. Sometimes, these more subtle forms of discrimination can only be discerned from looking at patterns of hiring and promotion decisions that reveal a preference for white or other non-minorities.
The race discrimination laws also prohibit your employer from retaliating against you for complaining about race discrimination or participating in someone else’s race discrimination case.
If you have been subjected to race or color discrimination, your remedies are well-established and significant. You may be entitled to reinstatement into your former position, front pay, back pay, damages for emotional distress or mental anguish, punitive damages and attorneys’ fees and court costs.
Contact Our Racial Discrimination Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been the victim of race or color discrimination, you need to take immediate action, as the time limits for filing a discrimination claim are very short. An Austin employment lawyers can help you fight back against racism in your workplace.