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Racial Discrimination Laws

Racial discrimination is the act of prejudice against individuals based on their race or skin color leading to unfair treatment at the time of hiring, job promotions, or other employment benefits. Court rulings have determined that companies will be held liable even if the pre-hiring screening process is found to be discriminatory. Below, Experts have answered questions on Racial Discrimination Laws.

In Alaska what is an individual’s legal recourse if their boss makes racial comments and harasses other employees in the workplace?

No employer is allowed to permit racial discrimination in the workplace. Your employer may be liable for racial discrimination at workplace if he/she fails to prohibit such discriminatory conduct. You may report racial discrimination to the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) as well as the Alaska State Human Rights Commission:

What can an individual do if they filed racial discrimination with EEOC and the employer is demanding the individual pay back a sign on bonus?

This is an issue of contractual dispute. Therefore, you may take up the matter again with the EEOC and file charges of breach of agreement. If the employer attempts to sue you in collections, you will have a counter suit against them for breach as well as legal fees. Further, you may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor to investigate the company’s employment practices.

If an employer uses racial abusive language and an individual asked to be moved to a different department and instead of being moved was demoted does the employee have a legal suit for racial discrimination?

Without clear evidence of the remarks made against you, it will be difficult to pursue a claim for racial discrimination. You will have to prove that the adverse action was taken because of your race. Your employer may claim that the unfavorable employment action was related to your work performance and not because you complained about racism.

However, you may file a complaint with the EEOC and seek an investigation into the complaint. If they find that you were indeed subjected to racial discrimination, they will issue a Right to Sue letter which you can take to an attorney.

I have been falsely accused of racial discrimination by a co-worker. My employer is asking me to sign a report based only my co-workers complaint. What should I do?

Firstly, it would be unwise on your part to sign the memo that is based only on your co-worker’s complaint and does not include your side of the story. Doing so will mean that you admit to the allegations. Instead, you can respond by sending a memo, as per office rules, explaining your side of the story. Keep a copy of the memo accessible outside office premises. If your employer fires you or disciplines you without allowing you to present your side of the story, you may contact an employment law attorney.

Your employer is probably trying to avoid expensive litigation by siding with your co-worker. However, your employer is equally at risk of a racial discrimination lawsuit from you if they do not allow you to respond to the charges. You see, racial discrimination claims are not limited to racial minorities; it is about whether a person has been discriminated or not based on race.

Further, you may pursue defamation claim against your employer for falsely accusing you of racial discrimination. While such cases are hard to prove, it does not mean that they are impossible to win.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 underwent a significant amendment by the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which ruled that all racial discrimination was covered by U.S. law, including post-hire harassment. The Act allowed recovery of punitive damages over and above the obvious monetary claims like lost wages or salary, lost benefits, attorney fees, etc. If you wish to learn more about how your rights are protected under the racial discrimination laws, contact the Experts.
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