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Proving Workplace Discrimination Based on Race, Ethnicity, or National Origin

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It is against state and federal law to treat a person negatively in hiring or employment aspects because of his or her race, ethnicity, or nation of origin. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Illinois Human Rights Act prohibit employment discrimination based on race and several other protected classifications. The best way to find out if you have a viable race discrimination claim is to speak with an experienced employment law attorney.

Race Discrimination in the Workplace

Examples of discrimination in the workplace can include:

  • unequal pay, bonuses, and hours
  • lack of advancement opportunities
  • termination or demotion
  • harassment

If you believe you have experienced adverse treatment in the workplace due to your race, ethnicity, or nation of origin, you may have an employment discrimination claim. However, to successfully litigate a workplace discrimination claim, you must be able to present evidence that the adverse treatment was affected by a protected classification (including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, and nation of origin).

Establishing a Workplace Discrimination Claim

Employers usually realize it is unacceptable to terminate or demote someone based on their race or national origin. When asked, your boss will probably name a different reason for firing you, such as poor job performance. There are at least two ways to demonstrate there is a discrimination problem at your place of employment.

One way to establish the negative treatment you received was based on racial or ethnic prejudice is to prove that the employer’s reason for punishing you is likely false. Consider the following example: you are late to work for the second time in six months, and your boss terminates you, citing the tardiness. If you can prove other employees are chronically tardy, but are not punished, you may be able to establish a discrimination claim.

Another way to demonstrate you are a victim of discrimination is to show that you are only one example of a systemic problem in your workplace. For instance, if a new manager comes into an existing workplace and quickly fires every person of color for seemingly trivial reasons, you may be just a small part of a larger problem.

Need Legal Help? Call an Illinois Race Discrimination Attorney.

If you believe you have been a victim of employment discrimination, it is important to speak to an employment law attorney right away. Goldman & Ehrlich represents individuals and businesses in workplace discrimination disputes. Contact our office in Chicago, Illinois to request a free consultation.