Los Angeles Race Discrimination Attorneys
Clients Owe Us Nothing Until We Win
Have you faced injustice at the workplace simply due to how you look or the color of your skin? Here at King & Siegel LLP, our Los Angeles race discrimination lawyers are determined to offer all of our clients the attention and aggressive support they deserve in fighting against racial discrimination at their jobs. According to federal and California laws, particularly the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Fair Employment and Housing Act, no employer is allowed to make prejudiced decisions against employees or job applicants based on race or ethnicity. This includes decisions in hiring, promotion, benefits, salary and wages, or termination.
The law also bans any discrimination, behavior, or negative attitudes that are based on stereotypical assumptions about a person’s abilities, talents, traits, or nature, simply on account of their race, ancestry, culture, language, birthplace, or even their names that come with certain national associations. Critically, the law allows for claims even where there is no discriminatory intent, but an employer’s actions result in a disparate (i.e., unequal) treatment of groups of employees who are of a different race or ethnicity.
Reach out to us for powerful protection against such discrimination or if your employee rights have been violated in another manner.
Signs of Race Discrimination at Work
Often, when people have been unfairly treated at their jobs on account of their race, the color of their skin or complexion, hair color or texture, or any other physical feature, there are actually multiple ways that prejudice against them is manifested. People do not always resort to committing outright harassment, though any examples of racial slurs, derogatory comments and statements, cruel or offensive jokes, and racially prejudiced images or symbols also clearly count as discrimination. If any case of these examples of overt discrimination occurs, you must definitely report the immoral behavior, but also be on the lookout for more subtle prejudice.
Some of the less initially obvious examples of racial discrimination could include:
- A demotion, lay-off, or outright termination;
- A refusal to hire someone;
- Denying or decreasing a person’s benefits, salary or wages, number of job assignments, promotion opportunities, or cases for additional training;
- Direct threats or generally unpleasant behavior that eventually force someone to quit; or
- Refusing to provide similar accommodation or treatment for someone of a different race or ethnicity.
Seeking Damages in the State of California
According to the crucial Civil Rights Act of 1991 and the Fair Employment and Housing Act, employees are entitled to justice and recompense for what they have suffered in the workplace. Of course, there is no way to ever erase the emotional pain, mental suffering, and anguish caused by losing benefits, wages, or even your entire job to your employer’s discriminating behavior. However, it is significant that you can at least recover the financial loss, receive compensation for emotional distress, and pay for future monetary needs, which are being incurred specifically because of your employer’s violation of the law. These damages can be multiplied in instances where we can prove purposeful malice or oppression. Moreover, if an employer’s practices primarily affect racial groups in a disparate contrast to non-minority groups, workers are even more likely to gain for their loss.
If you believe you are being discriminated against in the workplace because of your race, King & Siegel LLP welcomes you to call our legal team today at (213) 465-4802 for a free review of your case.
Filing a Racial Discrimination Complaint
If you suffer ethnic discrimination, national origin discrimination, or racial discrimination in the workplace, you have three options for obtaining justice:
- File a charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC);
- File a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH); or
- File a civil lawsuit.
With each type of complaint, you can receive financial damages and injunctive orders.
Filing an EEOC Charge
Through the EEOC, the government enforces federal anti-discrimination laws against unscrupulous employers. To take advantage of this type of federal protection, you have to file a “charge of discrimination” with the EEOC.
Complaints made to the EEOC should include:
- Your contact information;
- A description of the discrimination your suffered;
- A description of the damages you incurred; and
- The signature of you or your lawyer.
Filing a discrimination charge has multiple steps. Before you can formally file your charge, you have to complete an online inquiry and interview with the EEOC. After completing the preliminary steps, you can file your charge online, and the EEOC can then investigate and resolve your complaint.
Filing a DFEH Complaint
The State of California can hold your employer accountable for discriminatory practices if you file a complaint with the DFEH. You can file your complaint online, or you can mail in completed intake forms. If you want the DFEH to investigate and help resolve your complaint, you need to provide the following information:
- Facts and records about the discriminatory incident;
- Copies of your evidence; and
- Names and contact information of witnesses.
The DFEH prepares complaint forms for you to sign if they believe your employer violated state violated anti-discrimination laws. Once you sign and return the DFEH complaint forms, the state agency delivers the complaint to your employer. The DFEH can then begin the investigation and resolution process.
Filing a Lawsuit
Some wronged employees obtain justice through the court system. But an employee cannot file a discrimination lawsuit until they receive a right-to-sue notice from the EEOC or DFEH.
As you can see, navigating employment complaints is often complicated and emotionally draining. It is best to hire an experienced attorney immediately to advocate for you and preserve your rights.
Proving Racial Discrimination
In general, there are three types of evidence of racial discrimination in the workplace:
- Direct evidence,
- Comparative evidence, and
- Statistical evidence.
The type proof that you provide for any one of these evidence categories can be the same.
Evidence that proves your employer’s discriminatory motivations can include:
- Employer handbooks and policies,
- Personnel records,
- Employer correspondence,
- Disciplinary records,
- Records showing a history of discrimination complaints against your employer,
- Witness accounts,
- Employee grievance documents, and
- Personal notes about discriminatory moments.
While your personal notes might not be admissible in hearings, they can be a great way to jog your memory. The better your memory about discriminatory moments, the more credible an investigator or judge might find your testimony about your employer’s discrimination.
Direct evidence of discrimination typically means proof that your employer or their agents explicitly said that they are treating you differently because of your race. A lot of racial discrimination is more covert in these times, but some employers still make outright statements about their biases in the open or behind closed doors. Stay alert to what your coworkers say around you, and pay close attention to thinly veiled racial statments in employer correspondence.
Comparative evidence is proof that your employer enforces rules and provides benefits differently, based on employees’ races. For instance, you might notice that neither you nor other employees of the same racial background have been promoted in years, despite qualifications. You might also notice that your employer frequently promotes less experienced employees of other races. Witness accounts and personnel records that show this disparity can be your proof of racial discrimination.
Statistical evidence can be proof that an employer’s practices or policies have had a different impact on employees along racial lines. For example, a seemingly non-biased shaving policy regarding facial hair might be racially discriminatory if, statistically, one racial group of people has more severe physical reactions to shaving compared to others.
Do not panic if you don’t initially have access to every piece of evidence that can prove your case. During their investigations, the EEOC and DFEH often request to review records you can’t normally access. Also, an experienced attorney can use litigation tools such as interrogatories to compel employers to hand over important documents.
You have 180 days to file a complaint with the EEOC. And you have three years to file a DFEH complaint or lawsuit in California.
Your race shouldn’t affect your career. If racial bias is impacting your work, you can count on King & Siegel LLP to stand up for you. Reach out today for a free case review.
An employer must have had at least 15 employees during a 20-week period to be subject to an EEOC complaint. And an employer must have at least five employees to be subject to a DFEH complaint.
No. After filing an EEOC or DFEH complaint, you might have to attend mediation with your employer. Some employees resolve their issues with their employers during the mediation process. Also, your lawyer might be able to negotiate a good settlement with your employer before you go to trial for a discrimination lawsuit.
Your employer is liable for employment discrimination if they knew or should have known a client or customer was harassing you and they didn’t take corrective action.