Workers are protected from workplace discrimination because of their color or race under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Despite this law, race- and color-based employment discrimination continues to occur. If you have been the victim of unlawful discrimination at your job because of the color of your skin or your race, getting help from the attorneys at Swartz Swidler is important.
Protections against race and color discrimination
Employers cannot discriminate against applicants or employees because of their color or race in all aspects of the employment. Employers are also prohibited from basing their employment decisions on assumptions that they have about the performance or abilities of members of specific races. Discrimination that is intentional and policies that have disparate impacts on certain racial groups are both prohibited.
People who are married to people who are of different races may also not be discriminated against based on their relationships. Employers also are forbidden from discriminating against workers because of their association with or membership in minority group organizations.
Characteristics and conditions
Employers cannot discriminate against workers because of certain racial characteristics, including facial features, hair texture, and skin color. Employers are also not allowed to discriminate against workers because of conditions that primarily affect one race unless doing so is a business necessity. This might include exclusions of people who have sickle cell anemia.
Discrimination based on color
Discrimination based on color can sometimes happen between individuals who are of the same ethnicity or race but have different skin colors. This protection applies to all people regardless of their races.
Recruitment, hiring, and promotions
Employers must have job requirements that are applied in a uniform manner to people regardless of their colors or races. Employers may not solicit applications only from places at which all of the potential workers are the same color or race or require applicants to have educational backgrounds that are unnecessary for the performance of the jobs. They also cannot make applicants take tests that are unrelated to the jobs. Employers may not base decisions to promote workers on their color or race.
Employment terms and compensation
Employers are prohibited from discriminating against workers on the basis of their race or color in the amounts that the employees are paid or in the other terms of employment. This means that employers may not base differences in compensation, benefits, performance evaluations, disciplinary actions, or terminations on the workers’ color or race.
Harassment of workers because of their color or race is also prohibited. Harassment is illegal if it is pervasive enough to create a work environment that is hostile, offensive, or intimidating.
Employers may not retaliate against workers because they have filed discrimination complaints. They are also prohibited from retaliating against workers who assist, participate, or testify in an EEOC investigation.
Classification and segregation of workers
Employers may not segregate workers of a minority group by isolating them from other workers or customers. Employers are also prohibited from excluding minority group members from certain jobs. Codes used by employers on resumes or applications to designate the race or color of the applicant may be used as evidence that the employers discriminated against applicants who were passed over for jobs based on their protected characteristics.
Inquiries before employment
Requests for information before employment which would disclose the race of the applicants may be viewed as evidence of discrimination if minorities are passed over for employment. Employers are allowed to ask for information for the purposes of affirmative action, however. Many employers use tear-off sheets to identify the race of the applicants. The sheets are separated from the applications and are not used to select applicants.
Contact Swartz Swidler
If you think that you have been discriminated against by a potential employer or your current employer on the basis of your color or race, you might have legal rights. Contact Swartz Swidler to schedule an appointment by filling out our contact form or calling our office.