Los Angeles Racial Discrimination Attorney

Race-based job discrimination is an unfortunate reality in many Los Angeles workplaces. Despite the advance of civil rights over the past fifty years, today’s employees often still face illegal unequal treatment based on race or ethnicity. Because employers know it’s against the law to factor race into professional decisions, today’s workplace discrimination is often much less blatant than in the past. Subtle discrimination can be just as damaging for employees—and it’s just as illegal as obvious mistreatment. 

If you’re concerned about racial prejudice at work, contact a Los Angeles racial discrimination attorney at Boucher LLP. As seasoned litigators and trusted advocates, we’re prepared to help you fight to exercise your rights under the law. 

Racial Discrimination at Work: The Basics

Unequal treatment based on racial factors is illegal under federal and state employment laws. Together, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibit employers from job discrimination based on:

  • Race, 
  • Color, 
  • Ancestry,
  • Ethnicity, and 
  • National origin.

Discrimination happens when someone receives unfavorable treatment because of one of these factors or other features associated with their race. The law bans discrimination in all aspects of employment, including:

  • Hiring,
  • Firing,
  • Job assignments, 
  • Training opportunities,
  • Pay,
  • Promotions,
  • Benefits,
  • Bonuses, and
  • Layoffs.

Employers considering racial factors in any employment decision risk penalties for illegal discrimination.

Racial discrimination also doesn’t always have to be intentional to be illegal. Sometimes, employers implement practices or policies that could disproportionately affect workers of a specific race. Even if a policy appears relatively neutral, it could amount to illegal racial discrimination if it consistently disadvantages a particular racial group. 

What Does Racial Discrimination in the Workplace Look Like?

Discrimination based on race can take many different forms, some of which are more obvious than others. Some examples of illegal race discrimination include:

  • Unfair promotion practices—qualified employees in a racial group are consistently passed over for advancement or training opportunities;
  • Exclusion or isolation—employees of a specific race are left out of critical meetings and decision-making conversations;
  • Violations of the California Equal Pay Act—employees of two different races do the same job at the same level but receive different wages;
  • Harassment—intimidating or offensive behavior directed at minority workers;
  • Verbal abuse—frequent use of discriminatory language and racial slurs;
  • Unequal work distribution—certain employees are given menial tasks or expected to take on low-level work;
  • Unaddressed complaints—concerns about racial prejudice are repeatedly ignored; and
  • Inconsistent discipline—minority employees are held to different standards than other workers. 

Anti-discrimination law doesn’t just protect current employees. Job applicants and candidates can also face racial prejudice. If a hiring manager asks you to disclose your racial or ethnic background, that could violate California discrimination law. 

What Should I Do About Racial Discrimination at Work?

If you experience racial discrimination on the job, there are several important actions to take to protect yourself. It can be intimidating to speak out about workplace discrimination, even if you’re not the direct target. However, staying silent about racial discrimination contributes to the atmosphere of prejudice that allows these behaviors to continue.

Create a Paper Trail

Collect as much documentation as you can of the discriminatory action that you faced. Save relevant emails, memos, digital messages, and images. Take detailed notes about any incidents of discrimination, noting when and where it happened, along with any witnesses. 

Report Discriminatory Behavior to HR

If you feel comfortable, speak to your supervisor or a human resources representative about the mistreatment you experienced. California employers have a legal duty to address claims of discrimination in their organizations promptly. Keep a record of all your communications with HR or your employer about your complaint.

Contact a Race Discrimination Attorney

An employment lawyer who’s experienced with discrimination cases can help you understand your rights and options. If you’re unsure if you have a legal claim, an attorney can evaluate your situation and whether your employer has violated the law.  

File a Complaint with a State or Federal Agency

The federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) and California Civil Rights Department (CRD) investigate and penalize employment discrimination claims. If an agency takes action in your case, they may try to settle your dispute with your employer through mediation. An agency can also grant you a notice to file a lawsuit against your employer in civil court.  

How a Los Angeles Racial Discrimination Lawyer Can Help

The support of a legal professional is crucial in holding an employer responsible for racial discrimination.

Giving employees different job opportunities or treatment based on race is against the law. However, it’s not always easy to prove that your employer’s actions are racially motivated. You may not have access to direct physical evidence—e.g., emails, letters, messages—showing your boss’s racial bias or the discriminatory intent behind a promotion. In these cases, you’ll need the help of an experienced lawyer to help identify and gather evidence of a pattern of unfair, illegal racial treatment.

If you want to bring a civil lawsuit against your employer for their mistreatment, your attorney can help ensure you have the evidence you need for a compelling case. They can handle the paperwork involved in filing an administrative claim with the CRD or EEOC and help ensure that you meet all required deadlines to file a lawsuit. 

Employees with successful race discrimination claims can be eligible to receive financial compensation from an employer. Potential recovery in discrimination cases can include:

  • Backpay;
  • Job reinstatement;
  • Lost income, bonuses, and benefits;
  • Damages for emotional distress; 
  • Attorney fees; and
  • Possible punitive damages.

Employment attorneys play an essential role in ensuring employees are fairly compensated in discrimination cases. A skilled race discrimination lawyer can advocate for you in court or settlement negotiations and help ensure you recover the maximum compensation possible.

Contact an Experienced Los Angeles Racial Discrimination Attorney at Boucher LLP

Taking legal action for workplace racial discrimination is about far more than recovering compensation. It’s about exercising your right to equal treatment and equal opportunity under the law. Holding employers accountable for illegal discrimination is a broader step toward dismantling toxic and prejudicial attitudes in the workplace and beyond.

At Boucher LLP, our mission is to empower Los Angeles employees we represent to stand up for their rights in the face of unjust and abusive institutions. We are aggressive and compassionate advocates with a wealth of experience helping clients navigate complex cases. Our attorneys fight to help California employees recover dignity and strength as well as just compensation for racially motivated mistreatment. Contact our office online or by phone to speak to one of our advocates about your potential case.