Can I Sue My Employer for Racial Bias?

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What Can I do If I have Suffered Racial Discrimination?

Under the Civil Rights Act, it is illegal for your employer to commit any type of racial bias in the workplace. Despite this, many people still experience racial discrimination during the course of their employment. Thus, the U.S. government created a system through which people can resolve their claims of racial discrimination by their employers. That system is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

If you have been discriminated against by your employer because of your race, your first step is to file a claim with the EEOC. The EEOC will then review your situation and advise you of the strengths and weaknesses of your claim. If you decide to continue with your claim, the EEOC will try to stop your employer from further engaging in its discriminatory practices, and attempt to mediate between you and your employer.

When Can I File a Racial Discrimination Suit against my Employer?

Only if these efforts are unsuccessful does a lawsuit become an option. The EEOC may decide to file a lawsuit against your employer on your behalf. If they decide not to do so, they will instead provide you with a "notice of right to sue." This gives you the authorization to file a lawsuit against your employer. Once you have the Right to Sue letter, you only have 90 days to sue in federal court.

If you do not wish to sue in federal court, many states have passed anti-discrimination laws, and some of these states allow you to sue your employer before submitting a claim to the state agency equivalent of the EEOC. 

Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Racial Discrimination Suit?

It is always a good idea to consult with a lawyer if you have been suffered racial discrimination. An experienced attorney can advise you on whether you should pursue your claim under federal or state law and can help guide you through the process of filing suit.

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Last Modified: 10-17-2013 11:16 AM PDT

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