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Race Discrimination Attorneys

Race Discrimination Law

It is illegal under both Federal and Connecticut law to discriminate in the terms and conditions of employment on the basis of a person’s race or color. Terms or conditions of employment means just about everything relating to a person’s job including: their position, pay, title, hours, vacations, promotions, and benefits. Whether or a person is hired or fired is a term or condition of employment.

Race is generally defined as a person’s ancestry or ethnic characteristics.

Everyone is a member of some race or color. It is illegal to discriminate against anyone in the workplace on the basis of color or race. Employment race discrimination in the workplace can be based on association with a person or people of a particular race. For example, an employer cannot fire a white employee because she is married to an African-American.

It is illegal to discriminate on the basis of color. For example, an employer cannot hire someone on the basis of having a light complexion over another applicant who has darker skin.

Types of Racial Discrimination

There are two forms of race discrimination in the workplace: disparate treatment and disparate impact. Disparate treatment is straightforward discrimination. It is the treatment of an employee differently because of the person’s race or color.

Disparate impact discrimination arises when an employer’s policies or practices, as a matter of statistics, have a greater impact on one group than another. For example, when hiring laborers an employer requires a high school diploma. The diploma screens out vastly more minorities than it does whites. Therefore, there is a disparate impact based on race even though there is no intentional discrimination. Once a significant disparate impact has been established, the employer is required to prove that the policy or practice (in this case example, the high school diploma requirement) is job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity. In other words, is the high school diploma job related and necessary to the position? If not, than the discrimination case has been proven under the disparate impact legal theory.

When successful in proving wrongful termination or adverse employment action on the basis of race or color, the damages include back pay, front pay, loss of benefits, emotional distress, injunctive relief including job reinstatement, attorneys’ fees, court costs, and punitive damages (in cases where the discriminatory conduct was intentional and engaged in with malice or with reckless indifference to the federally protected rights of the plaintiff).

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