Los Angeles Race Discrimination Lawyers
Seeking Justice for Our Clients in Southern California
The Barkhordarian Law Firm has been committed to everyday employees in the Greater Los Angeles area and throughout California by providing in-depth legal representation for those who have had their rights violated. One of the most common ways we’ve seen workers mistreated is being discriminated against by their employers, especially when it involves race. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), there were more than 1.8 million discrimination complaints filed from 1997 to 2018, and in 2017 alone, 34% of complaints were categorized as race discrimination.
If you believe you were mistreated at work because of your race or ethnicity, don’t hesitate to call our Los Angeles race discrimination lawyers to get the protection you need. We can seek compensation for your damages and obtain justice for you when we take legal action.
What Is Race Discrimination?
Racial discrimination is not only wrong and unethical—it’s illegal in the United States and in California. However, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) are still disproportionately overlooked by employers when it comes to hiring, promotions and raises, and other advancement opportunities. Race discrimination occurs when a job applicant or employee is given unfair treatment because of their skin color, race, and other features that are associated with their race, such as hair texture.
An employer can discriminate against an employee or applicant when they refuse to hire them, give them less pay, benefits, and promotions, demote or fire them, or force them to quit because of their race. Racial discrimination can also include harassment when the employee experiences racial slurs, derogatory comments, racially offensive symbols, or offensive jokes in the workplace.
If you believe you’re being discriminated against because of race, it’s important to take certain steps to protect yourself and have more evidence you can use when you eventually file a claim. Some of these steps include:
- Documenting all conduct you’ve found to be discriminatory or harassing at work
- Holding onto work-related emails and texts that contain evidence of discrimination
- Document any complaints you’ve made to your employer or HR representative
- Seek medical or mental health treatment if the discrimination has taken a toll on your health and make sure to hold onto your medical records and receipts
Laws That Prohibit Discrimination
Employees are protected from racial discrimination in the workplace by federal laws. According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it’s unlawful to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race or color. It’s also unlawful for decisions to be made based on assumptions and stereotypes about people’s abilities, traits, and performances.
California also has its own laws that bar discrimination. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) makes it unlawful for employers with five or more employees to discriminate against individuals based on race, whether it be an employee, contractor, applicant, or unpaid volunteer.
Why Should I Hire an Employment Lawyer?
California law mandates that it’s your right as an employee to work safely without being discriminated against for your race, color, or national origin. If you feel that your rights have been violated and you’ve already filed a complaint, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against your employer to both seek justice and potentially get compensated for your losses.
Along with gathering evidence and filing your claim in a timely manner, our lawyers can also help you understand if you’re a victim of racial discrimination, as some cases aren’t immediately obvious. It can sometimes be difficult to determine if something that happened to you is tied to your race.
Some signs of possible racial discrimination in the workplace to be aware of include:
- Your hours or pay was reduced
- There was a failure to stop racism or ethnic jokes from being made in the workplace
- You’re being excluded from meetings and events
- Employees from a certain race are being promoted over others
- Retaliation against employees who associate with other races or speak out about racism
- Failing to hire job applicants with ethnic-sounding names
It’s also worth noting that employers can discriminate against applicants or employees of the same race, and discrimination can still be valid when both the victim and employer are of the same race or color. We’ve recovered damages for clients in the past that include back wages, benefits, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more, and we’re able to sit down with you to calculate just how much you’ve lost.
Q:Can I be discriminated against by someone of the same race?
A:Yes. California's employment discrimination laws make all forms of racial discrimination illegal regardless of the employer's race. Discrimination is still against the law even if the discriminating person and the victim are of the same race or color. Discrimination laws also cover "perceived race," meaning discrimination is still unlawful even if a person is wrong about a person's assumed race.
Q:Can I be fired for reporting racial discrimination?
A:No. California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects employees from retaliation for reporting racial discrimination in the workplace. Firing an employee for reporting or pursuing a racial discrimination lawsuit is illegal and may be considered wrongful termination.
Q:Is racial discrimination limited to minorities?
A:No. Racial discrimination is unlawful against any race, including people of white or Caucasian descent.
Q:Can my employer ask about my race?
A:No. California employers are not permitted by the law to ask an employee or an applicant what their race is in order to decide whether to provide employment opportunities or not to a particular individual. It is never acceptable to ask questions about an employee or applicant's race or color, and these characteristics are never a bona fide occupational qualification.
Hear It From Our Clients
Meet With Our Team