What qualifies as racial discrimination in the workplace?


Quick Answer

Situations that qualify as racial discrimination in the workplace include an employer intentionally selecting employees or applicants of a certain race and treating those employees less favorably than others, or when employees of a particular race find the burden of having to adhere to a certain workplace policy an employer institutes falls more heavily on them. Race discrimination is committed by an employer when it makes decisions about a job or position based on race.

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Full Answer

Federal and state law prohibits employers from committing race discrimination in the workplace. A disparate treatment of racial discrimination is when the employer singles out an employee and treats that employee less favorably, while a disparate impact treatment is when an employer enacts a policy for everyone, but singles out employees of a certain race to enforce that policy strictly.

A disparate treatment claim alleges that the employee was treated differently than others involved in the same situation, such as an employer continuously promoting members of a certain race to higher positions, or refusing to allow employees of a particular race to interact with clients.

When an employee files a disparate impact lawsuit, the employee claims the neutral policy of the employer has a negative impact on members of a particular race, such as having a minimum height requirement, which could single out Latino and Asian-American applicants.

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