Racial or color bias or discrimination is the unfavorable treatment to a person because of their race or color; because of their physical attributes common with a particular race; or the person associated with a specific race.
In all of those situations such treatment may be considered workplace racial bias. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes racial bias in the workplace illegal. However, people all across America still face racial discrimination by their employers, supervisors, and coworkers.
Racial bias can occur at all stages of employment including the following:
- Applying for a job;
- Schedules, placement or duties performed;
- Work environment including social interaction with coworkers or supervisors; and/or
- Termination due to racial bias.
To continue to combat racial bias in the workplace, the U.S. government created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC to investigate claims of racial bias in the workplace, educate employers and employees about racial discrimination, and assist employees experiencing racial bias.
When a person experiences racial bias in the workplace they can file a charge with the EEOC. Depending on the nature of the charge, the EEOC may investigate the matter and attempt to solve the situation between the discriminated employee and the employer. If the discrimination continues or the EEOC is unable to successfully resolve the situation, the affected employee may be able to file a lawsuit for racial bias.
Before filing a lawsuit against an employer for racial bias, the person experiencing discrimination usually has to file a charge with the EEOC. After the charge has been filed, the EEOC begins an investigation. The EEOC has the power to file its own lawsuits for racial bias in the workplace but only after it is has done the following:
- Concluded the investigation
- Has reasonable cause to believe that discrimination occurred
- That reconciliation, a method to resolve the matter, will not be successful
Even if all three have been met, the EEOC still may not file a lawsuit depending on the available evidence, type of case, and other factors. If the EEOC does not pursue a lawsuit, the individual experiencing the discrimination still may file a suit.
After filing a charge, the person experiencing discrimination can wait for the EEOC to complete the investigation and then request a “Notice of Right to Sue” from the EEOC that needs to be filed with the lawsuit.
If the person does not wish to pursue reconciliation with the employer or wait for the investigation to conclude, the person may request the “Right to Sue” notice. However, requesting this document before the conclusion of the investigation means that the EEOC will stop its investigation and not pursue any reconciliation.
Employment law is complicated and filing a lawsuit can be challenging. Thus, an employment law attorney can be helpful in explaining what evidence is necessary to prove racial bias, the likelihood of success with the lawsuit and assist in filing the correct forms for your suit.