Between a combination of federal rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and state rights under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA), employees in Pennsylvania should be free from race discrimination in the workplace. The regrettable truth is that many workers suffer disparate treatment or impact based on their race. In this type of hostile work environment, race discrimination can prevent qualified workers from equal opportunity in employment matters, such as recruitment, promotion, or advancement.
HKM Employment Attorneys in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a nationally recognized law firm that focuses on the protection of employee rights. With offices across the United States, HKM Employment Attorneys have the resources and clout to pursue legal action against even the largest and most powerful companies. If you need legal help with race discrimination in the workplace, contact us today to review your case.
Defining Race in the Employment Context
At both the federal and state levels, race refers to certain immutable characteristics, including skin color or pigmentation, hair color or texture, and facial features. Race refers to a person’s physical characteristics, which can overlap with national origin or ethnicity.
The U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) employs five different categories for racial and ethnic identification:
- White: Includes all people with ancestral origin to Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East;
- Black: Includes all people with ancestral origin to the Black racial groups of Africa;
- Hispanic: Includes all people with ancestral origin to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Central or South America, or other Spanish cultures;
- Asian or Pacific Islander: Includes all people with ancestral origin to the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands; and
- American Indian or Alaskan Native: Includes all people with ancestral origin to North America who maintains certain cultural standards.
It is vital to note that the EEOC categories above are used for identification purposes only. Title VII and the PHRA provide protection for people of all races and ethnicities. A person with biracial or multiracial identity enjoys the same protection under the law.
Assessing Race Discrimination in the Workplace
Title VII and the PHRA prohibit employers from discriminating against or harassing employees based on their race. Employment discrimination includes any unfavorable outcome in the workplace, including hiring, training and development, scheduling, assignments, and similar work-related actions.
The race-related protections under Title VII and the PHRA extend to an employee’s family members, friends, and other associations. If the employer uses race as a basis for negative treatment, it qualifies as unlawful employment discrimination.
Reach Out to a Pennsylvania Employment Attorney Today
If you were the victim of work-related race discrimination in Pennsylvania, it can be immensely useful to reach out to a trusted employment attorney. Leveraging profound experience in the field of labor and employment law, HKM Employment Attorneys can help protect your employee rights. If you need legal help with race discrimination in the workplace, contact us today for an initial consultation.