Eliminating racial discrimination has historically been one of the biggest challenges in American history. Even today, prejudice based on race is still present in Austin society. A number of federal and state laws, however, have been passed to confront this problem and prohibit the use of race as a determining factor in employment decisions. Arguably the most important federal statute dealing with race discrimination on the job is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Race and Color in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
Title VII prohibits discrimination in the workplace on the basis of both race and color. Race is generally defined as the aggregate of ancestry, appearance, and culture associated with a particular group. All races are protected by Title VII, regardless of majority/minority or socioeconomic status; it extends the same protection to whites as blacks.
Under the provisions of Title VII, employers may not use race to discriminate between or against current or prospective employees in matters relating to all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, promotion, compensation, benefits, or disciplinary action. Consult an Austin race discrimination lawyer for more information on activities governed by this statute.
Intentional and Unintentional Race Discrimination
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is concerned not with the intent of an employment practice or decision, but with that practice or decision’s actual, practical impact. It makes no distinction between intentional discrimination and unintentional discrimination; both are equally prohibited. This makes it somewhat tricky for employers, who must be careful to design policies which are neutral in both word and practice.
For example, a company policy which explicitly denies employment to Hispanics is obviously illegal under Title VII, but so is a company policy which denies employment based solely on criminal history, which may unfairly disenfranchise certain underprivileged minorities.
Race discrimination at work can be difficult to prove, especially if its impacts are difficult to measure on a tangible scale. If you have been discriminated against because of your race, an experienced Austin race discrimination attorneys may be able to help you. Contact us today for more information.