Race discrimination occurs when an employer treats an applicant or employee less favorably because of the person’s race or because of personal characteristics associated with race (e.g. hair texture, facial features). Color discrimination involves unfavorable treatment because of a person’s skin color complexion.
Discrimination can also exist if the unfavorable treatment is based on the race of the person’s spouse (or other associated person), and when the victim and the person discriminating are of the same race.
Which Employers Are Subject to Laws Prohibiting Race Discrimination?
Employers can be held responsible for race discrimination if they have 15 or more employees who worked for the company for at least twenty calendar weeks (this year or last).
In Which Work Situations Is Race Discrimination Prohibited?
The law prohibits race discrimination in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
It is illegal for anyone involved with a person’s employment–a supervisor, manager, co-worker, or even a customer–to harass a person because of his or her race or color. The law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not serious. Harassment can include offensive or derogatory remarks about a person’s race or color that are so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision.
Race Discrimination and Employment Practices (Disparate Impact)
An employment policy or practice that applies to everyone, regardless of race, can be illegal if it has a negative impact on the employment of people of a particular race or color and is not job-related or necessary to the operation of the business.
The law also prohibits the following:
- Segregating minority employees by physically isolating them from other employees or from customer contact, and by assigning primarily minorities to predominantly minority establishments or geographic areas.
- Excluding minorities from certain positions or grouping or categorizing employees or jobs so that certain jobs are generally held by minorities.
Recording and/or asking for information about an applicant’s or employee’s race can be evidence of discrimination, unless it is used for legitimate affirmative action purposes and/or to track applicant flow.
DOES NEVADA LAW ALSO PROHIBIT RACE DISCRIMINATION?
Yes, Nevada law has very similar prohibitions against race and color discrimination.
WHAT CAN I DO IF MY EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATES AGAINST ME BASED ON RACE?
To learn about what action you can take, go here.