Santa Barbara Race-Based Employment Discrimination Attorney
Race discrimination takes many forms in Santa Barbara, affecting many different races. If you believe you were the victim of racial discrimination at your workplace or when applying for a job, contact the Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC. To schedule a free consultation, call at (805) 643-5555.
Common Ways Race-Based Employment Discrimination Shows Itself in Santa Barbara
Race-based discrimination still exists in Santa Barbara workplaces, though it is rarely overt. In some cases, it might be challenging to know that you are a victim of racial discrimination. For instance, it might not be readily apparent if an employer is assigning tasks based on race or is purposefully segregating the work environment. Employees in California are protected federally under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
Racial discrimination in a work environment takes many forms, and it is often subtle. Some clear examples might include not hiring an individual based on their race or firing them for the same reason. Usually, discrimination exists in other ways, such as failing to promote a qualified employee because of their race or implementing targeted layoffs.
In some Santa Barbara workplaces, an employer might allow a hostile work environment to continue unabated. This type of work environment could subject an employee to racial jokes, slurs, or any conduct that makes the employee feel unsafe because of their race.
A California company might also institute corporate policies that negatively impact employees of a certain race. In many instances, these practices are covert, and their actual racial bias is hidden or unacknowledged. For example, if there is a company drug testing policy, but it is only aimed at a specific race, it could be a violation. Our experienced Santa Barbara race-based discrimination attorneys are available to help you identify if you have been the victim of racial discrimination at work.
Proving Racial Discrimination in the Workplace
The best evidence is to prove racial discrimination is an obviously racist statement or action by your employer. Race discrimination is illegal, and if you are told you are being fired because of your race, then you have the foundation of a strong discrimination lawsuit. Unfortunately, an employee will not usually have that type of direct evidence of race-based employment discrimination.
When there is no direct evidence against your Santa Barbara employer, a victim of racial discrimination can still prove their case through indirect evidence. This means that the evidence presented to the court demonstrates that it was more likely than not that your employer discriminated against you based on your race.
Typically, our law firm will have to demonstrate four elements to establish that it was more likely than not that your employer’s conduct was discriminatory. First, we will have to prove that you were qualified for your job and, if you were working, were performing your duties appropriately. Second, we will have to show that you were denied a benefit or compensation that was open to everyone else who did your job. This conduct could include denying promotions or failing to grant earned pay increases. Next, you must be part of a protected class under federal or California law. Finally, the person who received the benefit must be from a different, usually unprotected class.
Filing a Lawsuit for Race-Based Discrimination in Santa Barbara
As stated above, the burden of proof is initially on the plaintiff claiming they were a victim of racial discrimination. Our Santa Barbara discrimination attorney will assist you in determining if you were the victim of race-based employment discrimination. If possible, you should file a complaint or speak with your human resources manager. This action will allow your employer to address the issue as well as provide evidence that you did make a formal complaint.
Before filing a lawsuit against your employer, you need to file a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Our office could assist you with the complaint and generally advises filing with the DFEH because California law provides broader protections and higher compensation awards. Once either agency has reviewed your case, a “right to sue” letter will be issued that permits you to move forward with a discrimination lawsuit in a California court.
Damages Available to Employees in a Santa Barbara Race Discrimination Lawsuit
If you are successful in a discrimination lawsuit, you are entitled to financial compensation, including any income you have lost because of the discrimination. You are also entitled to be compensated for your emotional distress, such as any embarrassment or humiliation you might have suffered.
You could also be awarded injunctive relief. Meaning, a court will order your employer to take some sort of action, for instance, rehiring you, promoting you, or ensuring certain conduct does not continue.
Call Our Santa Barbara Race-Based Employment Discrimination Attorney to Schedule a Free Consultation
Your job might not be ideal. However, if you are the victim of race-based employment discrimination, your employer is acting illegally and should be held responsible for any damages you have suffered. Our Santa Barbara employment discrimination lawyers are committed to fighting discriminatory conduct in the workplace. To schedule a free appointment and review your case, call the Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC at (805) 643-5555.