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Ochoa & Calderon

Racial Discrimination in the Employment Interview and Hiring Process

Racial or sexual discrimination, colleagues quarrelling at work, disrespect

There’s no denying that racial discrimination during the employment interview and hiring process is a significant issue that many applicants face in Riverside and Southern California. Such discrimination is not always overt; racist employers use many subtle tricks during the hiring process to try and get away with unlawful discriminatory hiring decisions. Below we provide some examples of discriminatory practices in the hiring process that you could encounter, along with some guidance about what you can do about it if you feel you were discriminated against on the basis of race when it came to a job you were applying for. If this has happened to you in Riverside or Southern California, contact Ochoa & Calderón for a free consultation with a team of dedicated and experienced racial discrimination employment law attorneys.

Examples of Discriminatory Practices in the Hiring Process

Racial discrimination doesn’t just happen to employees who are fired, disciplined, demoted or otherwise treated unfairly because of their race; race discrimination in employment begins at the hiring stage for many job applicants. Below are the most common stages of the hiring process where applicants might encounter racial discrimination.

Job Opportunity Posting

Sometimes, employers may post job opportunities in locations or platforms predominantly accessed by a particular racial group, thus effectively excluding other races from applying.

Employment Applications

Some employers may incorporate unnecessary and discriminatory qualifications on job applications to discourage or disqualify certain racial groups. For instance, requiring English fluency for a job that doesn’t necessitate it is an unlawful discriminatory practice.

Testing or Qualification Requirements

Employers might employ biased testing or qualification requirements, targeting specific racial groups. For example, employers might try utilizing tests that may not pertain to the job responsibilities but disfavor certain racial or ethnic groups.

Job Interviews

Unconscious bias during interviews can manifest in many ways, such as not offering interviews to candidates with ethnic-sounding names, or treating candidates differently based on their race during the interview.

State and Federal Laws Protect Job Applicants From Racial Discrimination

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) both offer strong protections against racial discrimination in the employment process. These laws prohibit employers from discriminating against job applicants based on race, color, national origin, and other protected characteristics.

California’s FEHA extends these protections to more businesses than its federal counterpart, covering companies with five or more employees, while Title VII applies to businesses with 15 or more employees. It’s crucial to note that these laws not only prohibit explicit discrimination but also practices that have a disparate impact on certain racial groups unless the employer can demonstrate these practices are job-related and consistent with business necessity.

Reporting Unlawful Employment Discrimination

If you believe you’ve been a victim of racial discrimination during the employment interview and hiring process, follow these steps:

  1. Document the Incident: Record the details of the discriminatory behavior, including date, time, location, people involved, and any supporting information.

  2. Report Internally: If possible, report the incident to a supervisor or human resources department.

  3. File a Complaint: You can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under Title VII or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) under FEHA.

  4. Consult a Lawyer: You may want to consult an employment attorney who can help you navigate the process and protect your rights. If the EEOC or DFEH fails to resolve the matter, you can take matters into your own hands and sue the employer for money damages and other remedies.

Help Is Available to Hold Employers Accountable for the Harm They’ve Caused Through Racial Discrimination in Hiring

Racial discrimination during the employment interview and hiring process is an unfortunate reality for many applicants in Riverside and Southern California. But knowing your rights, understanding the protections available under laws like Title VII and FEHA, and being proactive in reporting discrimination can help combat this issue and create a more inclusive employment landscape. To discuss any potential claim you may have for racial discrimination as a job applicant with a skilled and experienced employment law attorney, contact Ochoa & Calderón for a free consultation at 951-901-4444 in Riverside or 844-401-0750 throughout Southern California.

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