What You Need To Know If You Suspect You Are The Victim Of Reverse Discrimination At Your Job
When most people think of discrimination, they think of people being discriminated against at their job based on race, sex, disability, age, or another protected class. These forms of discrimination are illegal and, sadly, too prevalent in our country. However, it is important to remember that civil rights laws protect all people from discrimination. It can be just as hurtful to be a victim of reverse discrimination at a job and costly in term of salary, benefits, and career advancement.
What Is Reverse Discrimination?
Reverse discrimination is the unfair treatment of members of the majority group based on their race, age, sex, or other protected class. This form of discrimination is often the result of efforts to follow laws prohibiting discrimination against minorities. When a workplace program is implemented to protect minority applicants and employees, it can create the unfair and discriminatory treatment of members of the dominant group.
Both Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) make reverse discrimination illegal. Victims of reverse discrimination in California will want to be certain to pursue their rights under FEHA because it provides them with more protections than Title VII. For example, it gives victims these greater rights:
- FEHA applies to employers with as few as five employees, rather than employers with 15 employees under Title VII.
- Unlike Title VII and other civil rights laws, there is no cap on damages for emotional distress compensation under FEHA.
In general, FEHA is a more liberal law than Title VII and other federal anti-discrimination laws, often making proving an employer engaged in discrimination easier.
What Are Some Examples of Reverse Discrimination?
Cases of reverse discrimination usually involve a Caucasian individual being discriminated against in favor of a minority or a man being given less favorable treatment than a woman due to her gender. However, it is not just white males who could have a reverse discrimination claim. Common ways that employers engage in this illegal behavior include:
- Making hiring or promotion decisions based on an employee’s minority status rather than the experience or seniority of a Caucasian applicant or employee or of another dominant group.
- Hiring or promoting a woman over a man solely because of her gender and even though the male applicant or candidate is more qualified.
- Terminating or refusing to hire employees who are under 40 years old in favor of older workers.
- Firing or demoting an employee based on his or her gender or race.
- Making other employment decisions affecting employees based on race or gender.
What Do Victims Have to Prove in a Reverse Discrimination Case?
Proving a reverse discrimination case can be even more challenging than other types of discrimination claims. The basic elements that a victim must prove include:
- The victim is a member of a protected class.
- Employees who had similar or fewer qualifications than the victim were treated more favorably.
- The victim performed his work satisfactorily.
- The victim experienced an adverse employment action based on discrimination.
- The victim has evidence that his employer discriminated against this protected class of people.
What Steps Should You Take If You Are the Victim of Reverse Discrimination?
If you suspect that you are the victim of reverse discrimination, you want to take immediate steps to protect yourself and your right to compensation if the discrimination does not stop. You should do the following:
- Document the discrimination by keeping a written record of any discriminatory statements or actions, and saving any written documentation, such as emails, memos, and text messages.
- Discuss your concerns with co-workers who may also be experiencing similar discrimination.
- Report your complaint of discrimination to your employer and keep written documentation of all communications regarding your complaints.
- File an administrative complaint before the time limit to do so expires. You must file an administrative complaint before having a right to file a lawsuit under federal civil rights laws and FEHA.
- Contact an experienced employment discrimination attorney as soon as possible to learn about your legal rights, for help building your case against your employer, and to negotiate your settlement.
If you were the victim of reverse discrimination or any other type of employment discrimination, call the Law Offices of Corbett Williams at 877-304-7066 to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation.