The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act offer various protections to workers. Title VII is a federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because of their sex, color, race, national origin, and/or religion. The law generally applies to employers who have 15 or more employees, which includes state, local, and federal government agencies.
Title VII ensures that all workers have the same opportunities, and you cannot be fired, demoted, underpaid, mistreated, or harassed because your race or color. If you have been the victim of racial discrimination in the workplace, you have rights and protections available. You can file a claim against your employer to recoup compensation for the damages that you suffered because of the discriminatory act, such as termination.
Federal and state laws do not allow an employer to fire an employee for a discriminatory reason that is not related to or associated with the worker’s job performance. If you have been fired because of your race, national origin, genetic details, color, religion, or ethnicity, you may have grounds for a claim against your employer. You will need to enlist the help of an employment law attorney to pursue the matter.
What Is Considered Racial Discrimination?
There are several forms of racial harassment and discrimination. It could be in the form of racial slurs, offensive or derogatory remarks about a person’s color or race, displaying racially offensive symbols, or posting racially offensive remarks. Harassment that is severe and frequent and leads to a hostile work environment is also illegal. An employer is obligated to create a safe and welcoming environment for its employees, if the workplace is hostile and employees feel uncomfortable, unwanted, or threatened, then they have violated laws.
If the employer makes adverse employment decisions, such as firing or demoting an individual because of their race, color, or ethnicity, or if the worker is given an undesirable work schedule or suffers a pay cut, that is also considered racial discrimination. If you suffer racial discrimination, it is imperative to maintain evidence and supporting documentation. This includes any notes, emails, texts, and if possible, photos of any inappropriate jokes or images, racially offensive symbols, or anything similar. If there are videos or audio recordings of the incident, that can be used to help your claim as well.
If you have been the victim of racial discrimination in the workplace, odds are that you are not alone. Other workers have probably suffered similar mistreatment, and if you don’t act, the problem could continue, and others will also be affected. You will need to ensure that you follow proper procedure and that you have spoken with a knowledgeable employment law attorney who handles cases in your area.
Proving Wrongful Termination Based on Race
Racial discrimination may occur in different forms. If your employer makes an adverse employment decision, such as firing or demoting you because of your race, color, or ethnicity you should gather the evidence which proves this action such as:
- videos or audio recordings of the incident.
You should be able to show any restrictions that were forced on you which were based on hair, clothing, termination letter, copies of employee reviews, copies of discrimination police/employee handbook etc.
If You Were Fired Because of Racial Discrimination, Here is What To Do Next:
If you have been fired because of racial discrimination, you will need to do everything that you can to protect your rights and to get your evidence in order to support your claim. Here are a few things to consider when getting your claim underway and when you initially consult with an employment law attorney in your area.
- Does your company have a pattern of doing this? Have other people been treated the same way?
- Did you speak up about your treatment and were you then terminated as a form of retaliation against you because you stood up for your rights?
- Have you been discriminated against or mistreated before you were terminated? Do you have evidence or supporting documentation?
It can be difficult to prove that racial discrimination contributed to or caused your termination from your place of employment. It could become your word against your employer’s word, and without hard supporting evidence and documentation, your claim will not advance. You will start the process by filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
How An Employment Law Attorney Can Help
If you have been fired because of racial discrimination in the workplace, you should speak with a wrongful termination attorney in your state. Your chances of a successful claim will increase significantly if you have an attorney looking out for you and gathering supporting evidence and documentation. Talk with the attorney about their payment. Some employment law attorneys take cases on a contingency basis while others require a retainer to be paid upfront. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to share the details of your claim with a lawyer in your area.