Ethnic discrimination is an illegal employment practice in Colorado that is prohibited by both state and federal employment laws. The law prohibits discrimination because of ethnicity when it comes to any aspect of employment, including:
- Refusing to hire;
- Firing an employee;
- Paying an employee less;
- Refusing to promote;
- Job assignments;
- Fringe Benefits; and
- Other terms or conditions of employment.
Harassment is another form of discrimination. It is illegal to harass someone because of their ethnicity or national origin. A common example of harassment is the use of derogatory terms related to someone’s national origin. In order to rise to the level of discrimination, this type of harassment must be either frequent or severe, such that it creates a hostile work environment.
Laws that Prohibit Ethnic Discrimination
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.) prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Although Title VII does not explicitly mention ethnicity, ethnicity is almost always interrelated with race, religion, and national origin. As such, Title VII has been interpreted as prohibiting discrimination on the basis of ethnicity.
Title VII applies to private employers in Colorado who have 15 or more employees. However, Title VII does not apply to small businesses with fewer than 15 employees. Likewise, Title VII does not apply to Indian tribes, tax-exempt private member clubs, employment outside the United States, and employment by religious associations and organizations.
Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act
In addition to the protections that Title VII offers, Colorado also has an Anti-Discrimination Act.Co. Rev. Stat. Sec. 24-34-402. The Anti-Discrimination Act offers expansive protection against discrimination, much of which overlaps with Title VII. However, unlike Title VII, the Anti-Discrimination Act applies to all private employers, including those with fewer than 15 employees.
Victims of Ethnic Discrimination
If you have experienced ethnic discrimination, an experienced Colorado employment law attorney may be able to help. Remedies for discrimination under Colorado law can include job reinstatement, back pay, front pay, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees. At HKM Employment Attorneys LLP, we represent both victims of ethnic discrimination and employers defending ethnic discrimination claims and lawsuits. Both sides deserve to have a skilled advocate fighting for their interests.
If you are a victim of ethnic discrimination in the workplace, we can help. Contact an HKM Employment Attorney online or by calling 303-991-3075 for a private consultation.