Racial discrimination in the workplace is a real and serious issue. No one should face adverse, or any, employment consequences due to the color of their skin. But, at the same time, it can be difficult to determine what exactly constitutes discrimination. Have you ever asked yourself, “How do I spot racial discrimination on the job?” If so, having an understanding of the basics can help you determine if you may have a case.
If you believe that you have been discriminated against, it’s time to take action. Reach out the law firm of Hitchcock & Potts for assistance.
Look At Indirect Evidence
Racial discrimination has somewhat evolved in recent years, but it does not mean that it cannot carry the same inequity and cruelty as before. Perhaps the most important change in the last few decades is that even if an employer is biased against a particular race or skin color, few are as brazen nowadays as to say so directly. Because of this, much of the evidence you may collect on the issue of potential discrimination will be indirect.
Examples of this type of evidence will vary from case to case, as one might imagine. But generally, if a stereotypical inference can be drawn, it may be indicative. For example, if an employer has an African American employee with a pristine record, but promotes a white employee with a substandard record to a management position over the African American employee, an inference can be drawn about the employer’s disinclination to promote African Americans.
Certain Criteria To Establish
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is perhaps the main federal anti-discrimination law, outlawing disparate treatment based on race/color, gender, religion, or national origin. South Carolina’s Human Affairs Law also outlaws employment discrimination based on these categories.
Generally, both laws require that the person bringing the complaint be able to establish a prima facie case of discrimination. This includes establishing the following:
- That they are a member of a protected class (such as a racial minority)
- That they are qualified for or are adequately performing their job
- That they faced negative employment action
- That the person who received the positive employment action was of a different race or other minority group
Once you have established that a prima facie case for discrimination exists, your employer must argue for why their actions were not discriminatory. It is important to keep in mind that the court will not necessarily investigate whether that justification is real, or if it is just a pretext—the burden of doing that is left up to the complainant (you).
You may be able to show the pretext is not sufficient by direct evidence, but you may have to try and show disparate impact. Disparate impact is when a facially neutral policy that affects everyone can be shown to actually affect a protected class more.
Call An Employment Discrimination Attorney
We hope you better understand how to spot racial discrimination on the job. Facing negative employment actions like denial of promotion or termination because of an inherent characteristic of who you fundamentally are is against the law. However, it can be difficult to show that this is what actually happened in your case. Calling a South Carolina employment discrimination lawyer can help. Attorney A. Christopher Potts is happy to help you. Contact the firm of Hitchcock & Potts today.