Experienced Race And Ethnicity Discrimination And Harassment Lawyers

When originally hired more than 20 years ago, John was one of several African-American workers in his department. Over the years, lay-offs, terminations and people leaving for new job opportunities left John the only minority remaining at the company of more than 75 employees. Despite decades of experience, he was passed over several times for promotions. When he discussed the issue with the company's new owner, he was told the white workers would complain about reverse discrimination.

If this case sounds familiar, call Hennig Ruiz at 424-394-0464 to discuss your circumstances with our office.

Race or ethnicity is a characteristic that people can neither choose nor change. At Hennig Ruiz Law Firm in Los Angeles, our lawyers have worked extensively to defend the rights of racial and ethnic minorities in workplaces throughout California.

Our firm's founder, attorney Rob Hennig, is a board member for the Southern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and all of our associates have worked extensively representing the interests of racial and ethnic minorities in both a nonprofit and professional setting.

Race Under The Law

Race is a combination of a person's ancestry, skin color and physical characteristics. Racial harassment and discrimination can be experienced by a person of any racial group who is treated differently and unfavorably because of these characteristics.

Ethnicity Under The Law

Ethnicity primarily has to do with a person's ancestry, including linguistic group, religion and traditions. Ethnic harassment and discrimination can be experienced by a person of any ethnic group who is treated differently and unfavorably because of their ethnicity.

Racial and ethnic harassment or discrimination can occur whether a person is actually a member of a racial or ethnic group, or whether they are simply believed to be a member of such a group.

Race And Ethnicity Harassment

Racial and ethnicity harassment, like other forms of harassment, generally occurs when an employer creates or knowingly allows the existence of a hostile, offensive, abusive or intimidating work environment to exist, which negatively affects an employee's ability to perform their work. In the case of racial or ethnic harassment, this negative treatment is because of the employee's race or ethnicity — whether it is because the employee is African-American, Latino, Caucasian, Asian, or any other racial or ethnic group.

An employer's harassment actions may include (but not be limited to):

  • Disciplinary action
  • Negative performance reviews
  • Denial of training
  • Denial of promotions
  • Denial of raises
  • Termination

Race/National Origin Discrimination and Harassment Case Against the State of California Settled for $1.1 million
Our offices represented over a dozen current employees of an agency of the State of California who alleged that they were told that they could not speak Spanish at any time during the work day and who were systematically treated less favorably than their non-Hispanic co-workers by management. The employees complained, but the conduct continued until well after the lawsuit was filed.

Steps You Should Take

If you believe that you are or have been subjected to racial or ethnic harassment or discrimination, you should document your employer's actions and proceed to file a formal complaint by following your employer's policies. Your record of the events will serve as key evidence in any claim for harassment or discrimination.

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Please visit our Do I Have a Case? page to answer a few questions relating to your circumstances. If the questionnaire indicates you may have a case against your employer, contact us for a free consultation.