Color discrimination in the Miami workplace is when an employee or a job applicant is harassed or treated unfairly based on his or her skin color. It could be that their skin is too light, to dark, or any other skin color differences. The Derek Smith Law Group has spent over 25 years battling the injustice known as color discrimination and helping their clients receive compensation for such actions.
Color discrimination is often paired with or mistaken for racial discrimination. While it often deals with racial undertones, color discrimination is much different in nature. Color discrimination is when an employee or job applicant is harassed, wrongfully terminated, retaliated against, or treated unfairly solely because of the color of their skin. In contrast, racial discrimination is the adverse action or harassment of someone due to their race, which includes physical characteristics, like facial features, size, etc., that are particular to certain races of people.
According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an employer cannot harass an employee, create a hostile work environment, or conduct negative actions against an employee based on characteristics such as race, color, age, gender, etc. Additionally, Chapter 760 of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 makes it illegal for a Florida employer to create a hostile work environment or treat employees negatively based on the color of the employee’s skin. This is a protected class, much like race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, national origin, age, disabilities, and more.
In order to prove workplace color discrimination, you must prove that your employment was affected because of the color of your skin. There are three ways this can be done. First, you can prove that direct actions were taken against you because of your skin color. Such actions include:
- Being told you could not work on a project because the client thinks you are “too dark”
- Being told you were not hired because of the color of your skin.
- Receiving an email meant for someone else that discusses your skin color
Direct evidence means that you heard it or read it directly from your supervisor or another employee.
Another way to prove color discrimination is through actions that appear to be based on color discrimination. This is also known as disparate treatment:
- Wrongful termination
- Refusal to hire
- Refusal to promote when others of less skill are promoted
These are just a few examples. However, the actions are typically things that are not as blatant as direct actions but can usually be proven because you can show a history of this only affecting people with certain skin colors or people of other skin colors being chosen over you even if they are less qualified.
Finally, there are employee policies and procedures that can prove an employer is committing color discrimination. For instance, a policy may be in the handbook that states that only a person of a certain color can work on certain cases or with certain clients. This can be proven by simply going through the employee handbook and providing copies of such policies to your attorney.
Employer color discrimination can come in many forms. It can occur between people of different races or people of the same race. Here are some of the signs that can help you spot a culture of color discrimination in your workplace:
- Comments about skin color in the workplace
- Culture of hiring or not hiring people that are of a certain skin color
- Noted preference for people that are of a certain skin color
- Denied workplace opportunities due to skin color
- Wrongful termination due to skin color
- Layoffs due to skin color
- Harassment in the workplace that singles you out from others of different skin colors
- Provided more workload without the additional pay raise or promotion
- A hostile work environment that is based on skin color
- Retaliation because a complaint was filed, or a conversation occurred between the victim and his or her superiors or HR regarding color discrimination
These are a few of the many types of issues that can indicate color discrimination in the workplace. Derek Smith Law Group helps clients like you recognize the signs of color discrimination in the workplace and receive compensation for their adverse experiences.
Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964 is governed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In order to file a claim in Federal court, you must first request a Right to Sue letter from the EEOC. The time limit to do this in Miami is 300 days from the last incident of color discrimination is your workplace.
The Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 is governed by the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FLCHR). You must file your claim with the FLCHR in order to file a case in Florida state court for color discrimination within 1 year of the date of the last incident.
The courts want to help you get compensated for your experience as an employee or job applicant who was discriminated against because of your color. There are several remedies available through the courts to help with this:
- Reinstatement of your job
- Removal of the discriminating party from his or her position or the company
- Payment of lost wages
- Payment of future earnings
- Reimbursement of associated medical expenses
- Attorney’s fees
- Review of company policy and revamping discriminatory policies
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages (damages awarded to punish the employer so that he or she will not commit color discrimination in the future. Many times, this is based on the amount of money the company has, the nature of the discrimination, and whether this is the first offense)
If you are an employee or a job applicant that is being discriminated against by your employer for your skin color, it is a good idea to be proactive to help prepare for filing a claim. Here are some steps to take immediately:
- If you are employed, do not quit your job. Quitting your job will damage your case.
- Gather evidence regarding discrimination. Document everything and make sure you have contact information for potential witnesses as well.
- If your company has an HR department, file a complaint regarding the color discrimination.
- If your company has a policy or procedure in place to deal with color discrimination, follow it. While it may not help the current situation, it will help your case.
- Contact an attorney that specialized in Color Discrimination in Miami.
Have you been the victim of color discrimination in your Miami workplace? The experienced attorneys at Derek Smith Law Group are waiting to answer your questions and help you with your color discrimination claim. Call us today for a free consultation at (305) 946-1884. We do not collect any money until we get justice for you.
Types of Workplace Discrimination Cases We Handle in Miami:
- Race Discrimination
- National Origin Discrimination
- Religion Discrimination
- Age (over 40) Discrimination
- Disability Discrimination
- Pregnancy Discrimination
- Gender or Sex Discrimination
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination
- Genetic Information Discrimination
- Equal Pay/Compensation Discrimination
- Ethnic Discrimination
- LGBT Discrimination
- Hair Discrimination