Last updated on August 3rd, 2023
Racial discrimination occurs when people treat you differently based on your actual or perceived race. Racial discrimination also includes discrimination based upon what are often known as “immutable characteristics” – things you cannot change. This includes your skin color, facial features, hair texture, and other physical characteristics that are associated with racial differences. This discriminatory treatment generally arises from racial stereotypes and assumptions about the traits of members of your racial group.
Racial discrimination is unlawful under both Ohio and federal laws, and a variety of remedies exist. The most important law in this area is Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. Ohio’s Fair Employment Practices Act also protects employees against workplace racial discrimination.
The legal definition of racial discrimination includes more than just discrimination based on physical features. It also includes treating you differently because of your:
Discrimination based on any of the foregoing characteristics and practices is not considered unlawful if they would substantially interfere with your ability to perform your job duties. When hiring an actor to play Mahatma Gandhi, for example, it would probably not be discriminatory to exclude from consideration any actor whose racial features would not lend themselves to a convincing portrayal of Gandhi.
There are two broad types of racial discrimination:
When you file a civil claim, you must prove each of the legal elements of that claim by a “preponderance of the evidence” (above 50%) in order to win the lawsuit. A racial discrimination claim has four legal elements that you must prove:
These elements can be difficult to prove in court under certain circumstances. Nevertheless, your employer might agree to a private settlement to avoid bad publicity.
Following are some examples of racial discrimination in the workplace:
Thousands of more examples are possible. The number of ways that an employer might discriminate is nearly infinite.
As long as your employer employs at least 15 people, you can file a racial discrimination claim under both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Ohio Fair Employment Practices Law. If your employer employs between 4 and 14 people, you can file a claim under Ohio law but not federal law. If your employer employs fewer than 4 people, you cannot file a claim under either statute, although other legal remedies might be available.
Once you suspect racial discrimination, take the following steps as soon as you can:
Above all, contact a skilled Ohio racial discrimination lawyer to help you with your claim! Your choice of which law firm to use might just turn out to be the most important decision you make in the entire claim process. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you with racial discrimination laws.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, please fill out the form below for your free consultation or call us at 1.937.222.2222
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