Combating Ethnic Discrimination In The Workplace

Author: Nicki Malekadeli
Posted on: June 11, 2018

Ethnicity discrimination (also known as racial discrimination) can be described as employers discriminating against employees based on their religion, national origin, race, or color. This form of workplace discrimination is prohibited under both California and federal law, as outlined under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Ethnic discrimination is strictly prohibited in all employment practices, including applications and interviews, advertising for jobs or work programs, and working conditions. Although ethnicity is not specifically mentioned in Title VII, since color, national origin, and race are all integral parts of a person’s ethnicity, it is considered protected under the law.

Aside from being against the law, workplace discrimination against ethnic minorities can seriously undermine the morale of those who’ve been affected. If you’ve been victimized by workplace ethnic discrimination, you have the right to seek damages from the erring employer.

Categories of Discrimination Based on Ethnicity

There are two main types of racial discrimination in the workplace: disparate treatment and disparate impact. The former is considered to be a more obvious form of discrimination.

Disparate Treatment

This type of discrimination occurs when a person is mistreated because of his race, ethnicity, or religion, etc. Ethnicity discrimination may be proven via direct evidence or circumstantial (indirect) evidence, as both are equally valid in the eyes of the law.

When citing disparity of treatment in job opportunities, a plaintiff alleging discrimination should prove the following:

  1. He is a member of the protected class.
  2. He is qualified for the job applied for.
  3. He applied for the job and was rejected. Another candidate was hired even though it was clear that he was the more qualified candidate, or in the case of multiple job openings, all positions were filled by applicants outside the same protected class.

Disparate Impact

This type of discrimination can be difficult to identify unless one is specifically looking for it. A disparate impact occurs when an employer’s policies unintentionally results in benefits to one class of employees but not the others, or excludes certain individuals from job benefits or promotions. In other words, disparate impact discrimination is said to have occured when a policy that was unintentionally discriminatory becomes discriminatory when put into practice.

How Does the Law Safeguard a Protected Class?

The law prohibits employers from harassing or retaliating against employees based on their ethnicity. For example, if you’re of Asian descent and your employer is constantly ridiculing you because of the color of your skin or your culinary preferences, such acts constitute discrimination based on ethnicity.

Ethnic origin discrimination is also said to have occurred if your employer habitually assigns you menial or demeaning assignments not assigned to other employees within the same rank who are of a different ethnicity. Regardless of what form it takes, this type of discrimination can lead to significant stress, low morale, and other forms of suffering.

If your employer or potential employer is guilty of these and other acts that constitute racial discrimination, then you should seek the assistance of a reputable racial discrimination attorney in Los Angeles not only to safeguard your workplace rights, but also to obtain just recompense.