While racial discrimination in the workplace is far less common than it was 50 to 75 years ago, it nonetheless still exists and remains a condition that society will not tolerate. As we spend so much of our lives at our places of employment, the perception of racial discrimination in the workplace is a particularly unwanted and unpleasant experience. Fortunately, both federal and Idaho State laws provide protection against racial discrimination. No matter your race, you are fully protected by such laws.

Today, racial discrimination can come in many different forms. In a company where no single racial group predominates, it can occur in the company’s unwillingness to take appropriate actions after learning that your immediate supervisor is discriminating against you because of a dislike of your racial origins. Alternatively, it might be more subtle, such as the perceived feelings of discrimination felt by a lone African American working at a company with an overwhelming Caucasian workforce or those experienced by an Asian American working in a company where African Americans predominate. No matter the reason or cause of race discrimination, whether it comes from a group of employees whom management chooses not to confront after receiving discrimination complaints, or from a single manager or supervisor unfairly targeting an individual due to race, intentional discrimination based on race is not only emotionally scarring and hurtful, but it is also illegal.

If you live in Idaho and you believe that you have been a victim of racial discrimination, your first move should be to contact a law firm that specializes in race discrimination law in the workplace. Fortunately, such a firm exists in Boise, Idaho Employment Law Solutions. Headed by Lieutenant Colonel USMC (Ret.) R.A.(Ron) Coulter, Esq., the firm specializes in these related fields of the law, and for a $75 initial consultation fee, we will give you a preliminary estimate concerning whether you may have a potential racial discrimination claim.

A respected member of the Idaho State Bar and of the local African American community, combining the determination and work ethic of a marine who rose through the ranks due to his demonstrable talents with a seasoned and analytical legal mind, Mr. Coulter will advise you as to the strengths and weaknesses of your potential racial discrimination legal claim. If he and his firm determine that you have been discriminated against because of your race, they will work tirelessly on your behalf and guide you through the complex legal process. You could ask for no better advocate to protect your legal rights.

What is Race Discrimination in the Workplace?

Race discrimination in the workplace occurs when, due to your race, you are treated unfairly by your employer and are subjected to an adverse employment action. The adverse employment action can arise from any phase of your employment, including but not limited to your hiring, training, job assignments, salary, fringe benefits, applications for promotions, layoffs or termination.

How do I Prove Race and Color Discrimination?

To be successful, a plaintiff filing a racial and color discrimination claim must prove the following four elements:

  • That the plaintiff was a member of a protected class as defined by federal and state laws (all people, no matter their race or skin color are protected by these laws);
  • That the plaintiff was harassed because of his/her race;
  • That the harassment that the plaintiff received interfered with his work by creating a hostile work environment; and
  • That the employer was liable for the harassment by failing to take immediate corrective matters.

What Are Some Examples of Race and Color Discrimination?

Examples of racial and color discrimination include, but are not limited to the following conduct which occurs in the workplace:

  • Harassment—racial and ethnic slurs should never be permitted in the workplace as they can create a hostile working environment. Such racial slurs are deemed to be discriminatory if they are directed to an individual based on his race and/or skin color. At all times, an employer has a duty to eliminate such a hostile working environment. A single hostile ethnic slur by a supervisor over a subordinate employee can create a hostile working environment;
  • A company cannot make any employment decisions based on a racial preference that would favor one racial or ethnic group over another:
  • A company cannot permit the stereotyping of a particular racial group by making negative assumptions about that group with regard to an individual member’s intelligence, dedication to work, punctuality, and character.
  • A company cannot engage in policies that are motivated by the racial preferences of their customers or employees, as such policies would discriminate against members of a disfavored racial group.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. If intentional discrimination occurs and can be proved, the Act provides that the plaintiff can recover compensatory and punitive damages. Amended several times since its passage, the Act remains the most powerful and effective federal statute to combat intentional discrimination due to race or skin color.

How Racial Discrimination Can Occur

Racial discrimination in the workplace will occur when an employee or an applicant for a job is mistreated due to race, skin color, or any specific features that are commonly associated with that race. As noted above, there are several instances where racial discrimination can occur. These include, but are not limited to the refusal to hire an individual based upon race; intentional discrimination against the individual because of their race in matters about salary, work assignments, training, and benefits; the laying off, demotion, firing, or intentional pressure to resign placed of the individual due to race; and the creation of a hostile and harassing work environment due to management’s failure to discipline for making offensive racial slurs or comments.

A racial discrimination claim is always highly fact-sensitive. Not always every perception of discrimination will rise to the level of a claim that will violate either federal or Idaho state law. An experienced race discrimination lawyer will be able to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your claim.

What Should I Do if I’ve Encountered Racial Discrimination at Work?

Live in Idaho and believe that you have been discriminated against in the workplace because of your race? Your first step must be to contact a law firm knowledgeable in both employment and anti-discrimination law. Fortunately, such a firm exists in Boise, Idaho Employment Law Solutions. For a small initial consultation fee of $75, the firm will examine whether your claim has legal merit. If it does, and you decide to retain the firm, we will devise an effective case strategy, and explain in detail the many steps involved in advancing your claim and settling your matter to your satisfaction. If you retain Idaho Employment Law Solutions, you will have the assurance of knowing that we have extensive experience in litigating racial discrimination claims and will always advocate diligently on your behalf.

Contact an Idaho Employment Lawyer

Idaho Employment Law Solutions is an African-American and Veteran-owned law firm that provides quality and efficient legal counsel to businesses, organizations, employers/employees, and individual multi-cultural clients located in Idaho.

Idaho Employment Law Solutions is skilled in handling charges of discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, race, national origin, and pregnancy submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Idaho Human Rights Commission, the Idaho Human Rights Commission, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Labor. Idaho Employment Law Solutions has extensive experience in handling employee complaints about discrimination or harassment before those complaints become official charges of discrimination. Idaho Employment Law Solutions is experienced in guiding its business clients through sexual harassment investigations and provides advice on a case-by-case basis about the most effective way for the employer and employee to address discrimination claims. Contact us at (208) 672-6112.

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Ron Coulter at Idaho Employment Law Solutions has been an essential part of my small business team for over 16 years. He worked with my company to develop company handbooks, employment contracts, and employee training. His preventative work was key to our success when faced with an actual employee contract dispute in court. I am grateful to Ron’s attention to detail, phenomenal work ethic, and genuine care for his clients. Idaho Employment Law Solutions is a great partner for small businesses who want to succeed.

Codi Galloway

I was involved in an administrative procedure which could have ultimately led to my termination of employment. I contacted Idaho Employment Law Solutions which is owned and operated by Ron Coulter, a career U.S. Marine Corps Officer.  The qualities that impressed me most about Ron, was that nothing was “sugar coated”, Ron was up-front, straight forward, and Ron told me what to expect at each phase of the administrative process. When I asked a question, Ron always took care to provide a complete answer which very often included a follow-up legal analysis that a lay person could understand. Ron is an outstanding and experienced employment law attorney. He was reassuring and effective in his representation of me in this  administrative procedure.  There is no doubt, that the selection of Idaho Employment Law Solutions was the correct choice

Charlene Hamilton