Maryland Employment Discrimination Lawyer

Racial Discrimination In Employment

While employees can pay and treat employees differently based on performance and qualification, it is illegal to treat employees differently based on race, or characteristics associated with race, such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features. This constitutes racial discrimination, which is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Racial discrimination can affect various aspects of employment, including:

  • Hiring, firing, and/or testing. For example, subjecting only employees or employee candidates of a certain race to drug tests could be racial discrimination.
  • Pay, promotions, bonuses, and/or benefits. An example of this would be having a co-worker with lesser skills and performance, but of a different skin color, being promoted to a supervisory position.
  • Jobs assignments, training, and/or testing. An example of this would be refusing to place workers of a certain race or ethnicity in a position where they will be dealing with customers.

 

Types Of Racial Discrimination in the Work Place

Racial discrimination also encompasses harassment, which can be direct or indirect. Harassment may include:

  • Racial slurs and/or racial jokes.
  • Offensive or derogatory remarks regarding a race or color.
  • Visual displays, such as posters, drawings, pictures, screensavers or e-mails of a racial nature; epithets scrawled on the employer’s property; hangman’s nooses, Nazi swastikas, or other items understood to have racial significance.
  • Unwelcome comments based on race, ethnic origin, and/or color.

 

Racial discrimination also extends to:

  • Unfair treatment of those associated with an individual of a different race, including association by marriage.
  • Neutral job policies that disproportionately exclude minorities and which are not job related; an example of this may be a policy that requires men to be clean-shaven, which may discriminate against African-American men, who are more likely to suffer from skin conditions exacerbated by shaving.

 

When considering a racial discrimination case, the courts will also look at factors such as:

  • Membership to a protected class. Any time race factors into a decision about employment, you are a member of a protected class.
  • Job qualification. You must show you were sufficiently and/or equally qualified for a job.
  • Were you terminated, suspended, demoted, underpaid, or held back because you are a member of a protected class? There must be a relationship between your protected class status and an employer’s decision making process.
  • Have you endured injury? There must be an adverse affect on you, such as losing wages or enduring emotional distress.

 

Contact our Maryland Employment Lawyers

If you feel that you have been subjected to discrimination in the workplace, and have suffered damages as a result, you may benefit from a consultation with an employment attorney at Zipin, Amster & Greenberg.