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Harassment Based on Race

El Segundo Lawyers for Racial Harassment Lawsuits

When you go to work, you assume you will be treated in accord with the law. You might assume your supervisor, manager, coworkers, clients, and customers understand that race is a protected characteristic and you should not be mistreated because of yours. Both California and federal law prohibit racial harassment, though California law tends to provide greater protection to workers. Unfortunately, employers do not always respect their employees’ rights under these laws. You may face racial harassment that causes you emotional devastation along with economic harm. If you suffered workplace harassment based on race, you should consult the seasoned El Segundo harassment lawyers of the Calderone Law Firm about whether you have grounds to sue for damages.

Harassment Based on Race in El Segundo

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits workplace harassment based on an employee’s race no matter the size of his or her employer. Every California employer should be aware that harassment based on protected characteristics is prohibited. Even employers with only one employee are forbidden from engaging in racial harassment. Employers that are covered include public and private employers, employment agencies, and labor organizations.

Workplace harassment includes any kind of prejudice or bias that is expressed through interpersonal relationships on the job. Under FEHA it may take the form of ridicule, insult, or discriminatory intimidation that’s severe or pervasive enough to create an abusive environment. For instance, if you are Black and called the n-word and other slurs by your supervisor every other day because you are Black, you may have grounds to sue for racial harassment. Similarly, if you are Latina and your coworkers repeatedly make derogatory remarks and jokes about your race, you may have a claim for racial harassment. If you are assaulted by a manager because you are an Asian American woman and therefore believed to be submissive, you may have a claim for harassment based on race, in addition to sex.

What Is Racial Harassment?

FEHA forbids workplace harassment based not only on race, but also ethnicity and skin color. The question that needs to be answered in your lawsuit is whether the racial harassment you experienced generated a hostile work environment. People of any race in the workplace can perpetrate or be subject to racial harassment. You’ll need to establish the harassment was severe or permeated the workplace such that it produced a hostile work environment.

Our attorneys can only meet this standard if we show that what you experienced as harassment is what a reasonable person belonging to the same race as the plaintiff would perceive, too. For instance, if you are Black and you’re being insulted or subject to derogatory insults by your manager because you’re Black, the court would look at whether a reasonable Black person would perceive that the same behavior had produced a hostile work environment.

Lawyers Proving Harassment Based on Race

You’ll need to prove: (1) you were of a race or had a particular racial characteristic, (2) you faced unwelcome racial harassment because of it, (3) the harassment was because of your race, (4) harassment unreasonably got in the way of your work performance by producing an intimidating or offensive workplace, and (5) the employer was liable for this. It is illegal for your employer not to take reasonable steps needed to stop you from being racially harassed. You can hold your employer liable even if it simply failed to correct harassment.

There may be actionable racial harassment even if the perpetrator and the victim are the same race, ethnicity or ancestral background. For instance, you may be able to sue for damages for racial harassment if you are a Latino server at a restaurant bar and subject to derogatory remarks, insults, and race-related jokes by your fellow Latino servers and the Latino bartender because you are Latino. Similarly, you may be able to sue for damages if you’re an Asian American supervisor and you’re harassed by your Asian American department head because you are Asian American.

Federal Law in El Segundo Workplaces

Federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits race discrimination. Racial harassment is a type of race discrimination under federal law. You can recover damages under federal law if you can show: (1) your employer had at least 15 employees and (2) the harassment was so severe or pervasive it altered your job conditions and produced an abusive job environment.

Hire a Seasoned El Segundo Attorney for Your Racial Harassment Lawsuit

Racial harassment can result in emotional and economic harms. You should have equal opportunities in the workplace. You shouldn’t have to put up with abuse. If you’ve experienced harassment based on race in your workplace, you should call the seasoned Calderone Law Firm. Our experienced attorneys may be able to help you. Please complete our online form or call us at (424) 348-8290 or complete our online form.