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What are racial and color discrimination laws?

There is no doubt that our country has come a long way in actualizing the proposition to pursue life, liberty and happiness regardless of race, gender, ability and other identity aspects. It’s also true that we still need protections in place for historically marginalized and oppressed groups. Racial/color non-discrimination laws apply to all places of employment to ensure mutual respect and safety for all employees.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines racial/color discrimination as treating an applicant or employee unfavorably based on their race or skin tone. The law also protects applicants and employees from discrimination based on their intimate, familial and associate relationships with people of a certain race or skin color. 

What constitutes racial or skin color discrimination?

Racial/color discrimination includes unfavorable treatment with regard to hiring, training, benefits, assignments, promotions, layoffs, firing, or any other employment practice based on race or skin color. The law applies not only to direct supervisors but also recruiters, co-workers, supervisors from other departments and even customers. This holds true even if the harasser and victim are of the same race.

This law offers vital protection for historically marginalized and oppressed groups. As such, it is a no-nonsense law. When it comes to employment, your skills, qualifications or lack thereof should be the only determining factors. If you have reason to believe you were treated unfairly or harassed at work on the basis of race or skin color, you have every right to pursue litigation.