Addressing Race and Color Employment Discrimination: The Basics.

Posted February 2014 in Race Discrimination by Andrea C. Farney

Employers should not treat workers differently because of the worker’s race.  In some cases the unequal treatment can lead to a discrimination claim in court.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (commonly referred to as Title VII) is the federal law forbidding employment discrimination in the hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, training, compensation, fringe benefits, and other conditions or privileges of employment.  Under Title VII, an employer cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex and national origin.  Remedies for workers suffering unlawful treatment include back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorney fees and costs for securing an attorney to fight the case and win.  There are some quick deadlines that must be met or a worker may not be able to do anything about the discrimination.  So, early consultation with an employment lawyer is a key to figuring out what might be done about the situation.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency charged with enforcing Title VII and offers a number of resources on its web page on race-based discrimination.  In 2013 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received over 33,000 complaints of race-based charges of discrimination.  This number is not significantly different than 2012 and the numbers of race-based complaints going back to FY 1997 are substantially similar.  While advances in promoting equal opportunities for all workers based on race and color have been made, clearly there is an ongoing need for improvement and constant vigilance.

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