Suffer From Racial Bias in the Workplace?

Authored by , LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

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Unfortunately, racial bias in the workplace is still something that many people experience.  However, the good news is that the Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination.  If you are the victim of racial bias, you should contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  

The EEOC will review your case, and counsel you on the strengths and weaknesses of your claim.  The decision on whether to go ahead is up to you.  If you agree to continue, the EEOC will conduct its investigation.

The goal of the law is to put the victim of racial bias in the same position he or she would have been in if there were no discrimination.  For example, if you were passed over for a promotion because of racial bias, the remedy might be to place you in that job or to give you the pay and benefits you would have received had you been properly promoted.

The EEOC will generally try to accomplish this by stopping your employer from engaging in illegal practices and by mediating between you and your employer.  However, if mediation is unsuccessful or not appropriate to your situation, a lawsuit may be filed against your employer.  The EEOC may decide to sue your employer on your behalf.  If they decline to do this, though, they will provide you with a “Notice of Right to Sue,” which allows you to file a lawsuit against your employer within 90 days.

Finally, many states have enacted their own racial bias laws that are separate from the federal Civil Rights Act.  These laws vary from state to state.  It is a good idea to consult with an experienced employment attorney to see whether you should pursue your claims under federal or state laws.

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Last Modified: 09-04-2012 03:58 PM PDT

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