Dealing with Racist Coworkers Legally in California

Updated: Apr 23

California employment law on racial discrimination at work


If you are treated differently and unfairly at work on the basis of your race, then you have a workplace discrimination claim. While some incidents may be outwardly obvious from the get-go, a lot of discriminatory behavior can be subtle. A prescreened California Lawyer might be able to help you seek damages.


racial discrimination employment lawyers

It is already one thing for a coworker to loudly throw slurs and offensive jokes; it is another to be given more workload than your colleagues. When someone shouts slurs, you know you are being accosted. When you're unfairly getting more tenuous tasks compared to your coworkers, you're still unsure if you have a genuine discrimination claim.


Here are anecdotal examples to help you figure it out:

  • The employer promotes other employees of a different race, even when you are more eligible for it.

  • Your employer or fellow coworkers initiate or tolerate the constant use of offensive jokes and slurs.

  • Hiring officer obviously favors one race or ethnicity over others.

  • Your complaints are not heard by HR, but the department will consider others'.

  • You are the receiving end of derogatory remarks that specifically target characteristics prominent in people of your race or ethnicity.

  • Office or workplace laws the prohibit the use of your native language or dialect.

  • Your race is considered for employment decisions; i.e., hiring, layoffs, terminations, and suspensions.


Workplace Discrimination is Illegal


Any form of job discrimination is considered an unlawful act, especially when protected characteristics (as defined by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) are the cause of the target's suffering. These protected traits can be any one of the following:

  • Race

  • Color

  • National origin

  • Religion