Race discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because they are a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race (such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features). Color discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of skin color complexion.
Race/color discrimination also can involve treating someone unfavorably because the person is married to (or associated with) a person of a certain race or color. Discrimination can occur when the victim and the person who inflicted the discrimination are the same race or color.
The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
It is unlawful to harass a person because of that person's race or color. Harassment can include, racial slurs, offensive or derogatory remarks about a person's race or color, or the display of racially-offensive symbols. Harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (e.g., being fired or demoted). The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.
An employment policy or practice that applies to everyone, regardless of race or color, can be illegal if it has a negative impact on the employment of people of a particular race or color and is not job-related and necessary to the operation of the business.
If you believe that your employer has violated the law, call Holman & Stefanowicz, LLC at 312-258-9700 for a free evaluation of your potential claim. We can help determine whether you have a claim.