Race and Color Discrimination
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), interprets and enforces Title VII’s prohibition of discrimination as forbidding any employment discrimination by employers against employees based upon race, color, gender, religion, sex, age, genetic information, or national origin.
RACIAL DISCRIMINATION VS COLOR DISCRIMINATION
Racial discrimination involves treating an employee or an applicant in an unfavorable way to other employees because he/she is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race (such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features). Color discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of skin color complexion. Race/color discrimination also can involve treating someone unfavorably because the person is married to, or associated with, a person of a certain race or color.
WHAT QUALIFIES AS RACIAL OR COLOR DISCRIMINATION
Under Title VII, it is unlawful to harass a person because of that person’s race or color. Harassment can, but is not limited to include, racial slurs, offensive or derogatory remarks about a person’s race or color, or the display of racially-offensive symbols. Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted). The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.
It is further considered discrimination for an employer to have a policy or practice that applies to everyone, regardless of race or color, if it has a negative impact on the employment of people of a particular race or color, and is not job-related and necessary to the operation of the business.
Employers should be aware of their responsibilities under State and Federal anti-discrimination laws as they relate to race and color, as well as their employment policies to ensure that those policies are not encroaching upon the rights of any employees to be free of discrimination and harassment.
If you are an employer and are faced with an employee claim of discrimination under Title VII, or are facing a claim under jurisdiction of the EEOC, contact the experienced employment law attorneys today at 203-221-3100, or by email at JMaya@mayalaw.com. We have the experience and knowledge you need at this critical juncture. We serve clients in both New York and Connecticut including New Canaan, Bridgeport, White Plains, and Darien.
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