Employees in California enjoy strong legal protections against racial discrimination. Unfortunately, employers do not always follow these laws. When this happens, employees who have been victimized by discrimination have a right to take legal action to hold their employers accountable.
In the vast majority of cases, racial discrimination lawsuits are brought by employees who claim to have been subjected to adverse employment actions because they are nonwhite. However, this is not the only circumstance under which racial discrimination suits can be brought. It is against the law to discriminate against employees based on their race, even if the employees do not belong to a racial minority group.
An example of this type of claim can be found in a recent lawsuit that was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court by two former Chivas USA youth soccer coaches. The coaches, who are white, claim that they were fired from their jobs because they do not have any Mexican or Latino heritage.
The coaches claim that the discrimination happened after the soccer academy where they worked was acquired by two Mexican businessmen. The businessmen also own the Mexican team Chivas Guadalajara. That team has never had a non-Mexican individual on its roster. The fired employees say the business owners wanted to impose the same policy on the American team.
The employees claim that one of the owners came to a staff meeting, where he told employees that they would no longer be allowed to work for the team if they could not speak Spanish. One of the fired employees also claims that the team's president ordered him to provide information about the ethnicity of students and staff.
California racial discrimination
Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, it is illegal to fire an employee or refuse to hire a job applicant on the basis of his or her race. In addition, FEHA makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees for reporting or otherwise taking action against illegal discrimination. Possible forms of retaliation could include firing, demoting or suspending an employee.
This protection is not limited to discrimination based on race. FEHA protection extends to a number of different characteristics, including religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, disability and marital status.
For a free evaluation of your potential employment law, civil rights or consumer fraud case, we invite you to contact us.