It boggles the mind that a country advanced in so many areas is not as advanced when it comes to ending racial prejudice. As recent events show, racism is still a serious concern and unfortunately, often occurs within the job sector in Indiana and around the country.
If you believe you’ve been a victim of racial discrimination in Indianapolis, it’s important to know your rights and understand the steps you can take to right that wrong.
What Is Race Discrimination?
Race discrimination is a form of employment discrimination that can occur in both direct and subtle ways. It’s considered race discrimination when an employee or job applicant is treated unfairly or differently because of race-related physical characteristics—skin color complexion, hair texture, facial feature.
When an employer or coworker negatively treats you because you express other factors that define people of a different race—national origin, ethnicity, cultural dress, accent and or manner of speaking—that’s also considered racial discrimination.
Racial discrimination also occurs when employees are subjected to workplace discrimination because they are married to a person of a particular race.
Is it Illegal to Discriminate Based on Race?
Federal and Indiana state laws prohibit all forms of employment discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency that enforces all workplace discrimination laws. The EEOC enforces:
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- The Equal Pay Act (EPA)
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
- The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
Title VII protects individuals from racial discrimination in all aspects of employment, including:
- Hiring, recruiting and firing
- Training, job assignments, and delegating duties
- Eligibility for health benefits, retirement, and other fringe benefits
- Pay, raises, and other compensation
- Granting vacation, sick time, or disability leave
- Policies on promotion, advancement, and transfer
Race discrimination is not limited to the policies and practices of the employer. Racial discrimination can occur when an employee is singled out by other employees due to their race or religious affiliation.
What Is an Example of Indirect Discrimination in Terms of Race?
Not all race discrimination is obvious and overt. An employer (knowingly or not) may be guilty of race discrimination if they enforce certain policies that favor one race. Or if they have specific employee-related requirements that aren’t necessary for a position but negatively impact the potential employment of people of a specific race or color.
Indirect discrimination may occur if an employer:
- Requires a certain dress code, prohibiting attire associated with a certain race or culture
- Maintains a policy that excludes certain hairstyles or having a beard
- Requires a certain level of Education that is not necessary for an employee to complete job assignments effectively
- Advertises a requirement that job applicants must understand and speak English for jobs where the language spoken is inconsequential
Racial Discrimination Attorney in Indianapolis
Every attorney at law at our Indianapolis law firm is an expert in various employment law. With nearly four decades of experience and practice areas across the United States, you’ll feel confident that your employment discrimination claim is taken seriously and handled professionally. For legal advice or a consultation contact a discrimination attorney at HKM Employment Attorneys today.