How to Prove Race Discrimination 

How to Prove Race Discrimination

You can prove race discrimination by proving you are part of a protected group and that someone took adverse action against you based on your color or race. This may require proving that you deserved a job or promotion but your employer passed you over, unjustly retaliated against you, or caused you other harmful outcomes linked to discrimination.

Proving discrimination requires an experienced race discrimination lawyer to lead your claim. A lawyer will understand discrimination-related statutes and how to prove your employer’s discriminatory behavior.

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The Law Prohibits Race Discrimination

The Law Prohibits Race Discrimination

Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act makes it illegal for employers (or prospective employers) to discriminate based on:

Race and color may be most relevant to your discrimination claim, but you should seek a just legal outcome if you have experienced unlawful discrimination for any reason (including age).

Various other federal statutes explicitly prohibit work-related discrimination. If you believe that you or a loved one were illegally discriminated against and harmed you as a result, allow an experienced lawyer to seek the justice you deserve.

What Is Race Discrimination?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines racial discrimination as “treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because he/she is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race (such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features).”

Color discrimination encompasses the same behaviors. However, in this case, the discrimination is based on the color of one’s skin (whether or not the offending parties are aware of the victim’s racial makeup).

Racial discrimination can happen in many different aspects of employment, including:

  • Hiring 
  • Training
  • Promotions
  • Awarding of bonuses
  • Termination 

If you believe you have faced discrimination in any aspect of your work, it is worth consulting a lawyer about a race discrimination claim. Your attorney will review your circumstances and identify any instances of discrimination that warrant filing a lawsuit.

Who Has Race Discrimination Protection Under the Law?

Protection from race discrimination extends to everyone, including:

  • Whites
  • Blacks
  • Asians
  • Pacific Islanders
  • Native Americans
  • Native Alaskans
  • Bi-racial and mixed-race individuals

If you believe that your immutable characteristics (which you can’t change) played a role in an adverse event related to your employment, speak with an attorney about filing a racial discrimination claim.

What Does Race Discrimination Look Like?

What Does Race Discrimination Look Like

There are countless examples of racial discrimination.

Some hypothetical (but realistic) examples of race discrimination include an employer:

  • Turning you down for a job that a less qualified candidate of another race secures
  • Passing you over for a promotion that a less qualified candidate of a different race receives
  • Inappropriately commenting about one’s race
  • Harassing you based on race-specific characteristics
  • Unjustly terminating you in a manner that suggests race was a factor
  • Paying you less than other employees of a different race (who may have the same or lesser qualifications to earn a certain income)
  • Retaliating against you after filing a race discrimination claim or bringing race-related complaints to an employer’s attention

You may know race discrimination when you see it or experience it. If you suspect that your race was even a partial motivator for adverse treatment from an employer, you may have grounds to file a race discrimination lawsuit.

Steps in Proving Race Discrimination

To prove race discrimination, your lawyer will likely need to prove that:

  • You received different treatment than someone of another race or ethnicity: Race discrimination often lies in the differential treatment of those with similar qualifications. Therefore, your lawyer must prove that the treatment you received differed from someone with different racial characteristics.
  • Someone whose qualifications are similar to yours received preferable treatment (and that they are of a different race or ethnicity than you): Specifically, your lawyer will need to show that someone of a different race (who has similar qualifications) received benefits that you have not. They may also prove that you received negative treatment (like termination) while someone of a different race or ethnicity did not.
  • That there was no legitimate explanation for the treatment you received: Employers make decisions for various reasons. Your lawyer will need to show that racial discrimination is the most likely (and perhaps the only) reason why you’ve received adverse treatment.

While making this case may seem simple on paper, race discrimination cases can be immensely complicated. However, this does not mean you shouldn’t pursue a race discrimination claim. This simply means that you may want an experienced, knowledgeable attorney to lead your claim.

Potential Challenges When Proving Race Discrimination

When deciding whether to hire a lawyer to lead your claim, you must consider potential challenges your case may present.

These challenges include:

  • Claims that any adverse action was not race-related: One of the most common defenses against claims of race discrimination is simply denying that discrimination occurred. Responsible parties may claim that their actions occurred for legitimate reasons, such as that you were not qualified to receive or maintain a position.
  • Valuing the cost of race discrimination accurately: You may know that race discrimination has cost you pain and potentially income. However, the cost of being unfairly treated may be more extensive and complex than you realize. An attorney will evaluate the complete toll that discrimination has taken on you.
  • Funding a convincing claim: Building a successful race discrimination claim takes money. Those who are filing such claims are often in financial distress, as they have sometimes been terminated or suffered other financially harmful events. A lawyer will fund your case, and their fee will be contingent on them securing compensation for you.
  • Securing compensation from parties unwilling to pay you fairly: Liable parties may be unwilling to admit they have acted in a discriminatory manner. Therefore, those parties may resist paying you for discrimination-related damages. This hostility towards paying a discrimination victim is a challenge your lawyer will work to overcome.

Acts of racial discrimination can distress you. They may throw your professional life into disarray. When you hire a lawyer, you will have more time to tend to personal and professional matters.

Evidence Your Employment Lawyer May Use to Prove Race Discrimination

Evidence Your Employment Lawyer May Use to Prove Race Discrimination

As your attorney aims to prove race discrimination, they will obtain evidence. Such evidence may include:

Testimony from Other Employees

Other employees may have witnessed discriminatory tactics or even been victimized themselves. Your attorney may convince such employees to testify about discrimination specific to you or generally discriminatory behaviors by liable parties.

Other employees may testify that:

  • They witnessed discrimination towards you
  • They personally experienced discrimination by the person you are suing
  • They saw other signs of discrimination in the workplace

Compelling testimony can sway a jury, particularly if those testifying don’t have any discernible reason to fabricate their testimony.

Records of Past Discrimination

Other documented instances of negligence can establish a pattern of discrimination. While such evidence does not solely prove discrimination against you, it may help your case.

Expert Testimony

Your attorney may hire one or more experts who:

  • Understand discrimination-specific laws on an expert level
  • Can testify that you were discriminated against
  • Will strengthen your case because of their deep knowledge of discrimination-related matters

Law firms hire experts at no direct cost to the client. The law firm will seek to recover these expenses by securing compensation for you.

Should I Hire a Lawyer to Prove Race Discrimination?

It is your decision whether to hire a race discrimination attorney, and you must make the right decision.

You may choose to work with an attorney because:

  • You have no experience with race discrimination claims: You should recognize any lack of experience or knowledge you have. Most people are not especially knowledgeable about race discrimination claims, and you may not be either. Therefore, relying on a lawyer’s experience is wise. 
  • You want an attorney’s financial support: You may not have much financial wiggle room, especially if you were terminated or denied a job because of race discrimination. A law firm’s financial support for your case may be priceless.
  • You value a lawyer’s experience: An attorney’s record of completing race discrimination claims may instill confidence in you. Knowing that your lawyer understands the law and the legal process regarding race discrimination will make the process ahead easier for you.
  • You cannot psychologically manage your claim: Experiencing racial discrimination can be traumatic. You may not want to re-experience the details of the discrimination, and hiring a lawyer will ensure that you don’t. Even if you don’t feel you will be traumatized by handling your case, having a lawyer can free you to focus on other important matters.

If you feel that a lawyer is better suited to handle your case than you are, hire an attorney as soon as possible.

There Is No Time to Wait Before Hiring a Race Discrimination Attorney

If you even suspect that you have a race discrimination claim, you must hire an attorney as soon as possible because:

  • There is likely a filing deadline for your claim: Your attorney may face a deadline for filing your race discrimination claim. Missing this filing deadline can end your case before it starts. You are the only one who can ensure your claim gets filed on time, which means hiring your lawyer as soon as possible. 
  • Your attorney may need to get evidence from a former employer: Your lawyer needs to gather all available evidence of discrimination, possibly including evidence from the person you sue. They must gather this evidence before it disappears.
  • You should not wait to get justice for discrimination: There is no reason to wait before pursuing justice for any discrimination you have experienced. Your case will start as soon as you hire your lawyer. Your attorney will work to secure the compensation you deserve as soon as possible. 

Attorneys use a low-risk fee structure that allows you to hire your attorney right now. You won’t pay any upfront fees or costs, and your law firm will cover your case-related expenses.

How a Lawyer Will Build Your Case

A race discrimination attorney will manage every aspect of your claim, including:

  • Securing evidence of discrimination: Your attorney will interview witnesses, research the employer’s discrimination-related history, and secure all evidence that suggests discrimination occurred.
  • Documenting the harm resulting from discrimination: Your attorney will document any psychological distress, lost income, and other damages resulting from discrimination.
  • Calculating the cost of your damages: Your legal team will determine the cost that race discrimination has imposed on you. They will consider both direct financial harm and non-economic harm (including pain and suffering) that discrimination causes.
  • Negotiating with liable parties: After filing your complaint, your lawyer will reach out to liable parties to pursue the compensation you deserve. Your attorney may convince those parties to provide a fair settlement for your discrimination-related damages.
  • Proceeding to trial, if necessary: If those who committed discrimination won’t admit their wrongdoing or offer a fair settlement, your lawyer may need to fight for you at trial. If you have chosen a lawyer with a proven history of securing jury awards, this won’t be a problem.

Your case will likely involve many other responsibilities, and your lawyer will handle them all for you.

You May Seek Compensation for All Harm Resulting from Racial Discrimination

Some types of harm that can result from race discrimination include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • The cost of any treatment you seek for pain and suffering
  • Lost income
  • Diminished earning power
  • Loss of reputation

Each victim of race discrimination experiences unique types of harm, and a lawyer will document your damages and pursue a fair financial recovery.

Do Not Wait to Hire Your Race Discrimination Attorney

Alreen Haeggquist, Race Discrimination Attorney in San Diego

Remember that your case may have a non-negotiable filing deadline. Don’t wait to find San Diego employment law attorneys and hire them to fight for the compensation you deserve.



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