Racial discrimination is the treating of an individual of a different race differently in comparison with others. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 specifically addresses racial discrimination. Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees. In addition, private business and government agencies are bound by Title VII. In 2002, the EEOC received over 30,000 complaints of racial discrimination.

What Are Types of Racial Discrimination?

Racial discrimination can be based on:

  • Skin Color
  • Hair
  • Facial Features
  • Medical conditions that is predominant in certain races 

What Are Pre-Employment Inquires?

Employers that request information on a potential employee's race is prohibited under Title VII. However, employers that legitimately need racial information for compliance with affirmative action may use tear off sheets. These sheets are not used for the determination of hiring of an employee but only for statistical purposes.

What Steps Should I Take?

An employee that feels they have been discriminated against based on race has several options available. These include:

  • Filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC
  • Charges should be filed within 180 days of the alleged discrimination
  • In addition, the EEOC has a toll free hotline at 1-800-669-4000 that allows individuals that don¿t have an EEOC office nearby to request assistance
  • Request mediation services

Should I Consult an Attorney?

An experienced employment attorney can be extremely valuable in assisting any employee in racial discrimination issues. The filing of a complaint and gathering of relevant evidence requires an attorney with experience. In addition, an experienced attorney can help to guide employees in any settlement arrangements.