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Race Discrimination

Discrimination Dictionary DefinitionUnfortunately, racism is still a part of American society and still poisons some workplaces. If you feel that you were not hired or promoted, or fired because of your race, then you may have a cause of action against your employer. Title VII of the Civil Rights Law gives you protection and the right to sue in Federal court, while the Fair Employment and Housing Act creates a State cause of action for employees or those who have been discriminated against because of their race.

In order to support a case, the plaintiff will have the burden of proving either direct impact or a disparate impact on their protected group. Direct Impact means you were not hired or promoted because of your race, that you possessed the qualifications for the position, and the person hired was less qualified than you. Disparate treatment means that a rule or policy has a negative effect upon you, although it does not have any racist language.

Since you have rights under both State and Federal law, the first issue is should you file a claim with the Fair Employment and Housing Agency in California, or The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ( Federal Court). You have a relatively short period in which to file your case (1 year from the complained of act) but you cannot start a lawsuit until you file a formal complaint with either Agency.

You will have to prove a cause of action (case) by proving that your race was the reason you were denied employment or promotion. The employer can rebut that claim by showing there were legitimate business reasons for that decision, and that will support a motion of summary judgment for the Defendant in Federal Court, unless you can prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the business reasons were pretextual and racism was the real motive.

Disparate impact cases are harder to prove, and require more statistical evidence, research and perhaps expert witnesses to build your case. You should consult a lawyer who has a proven track record in employment discrimination suits.

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