Georgia Race Discrimination Attorney | Barrett & Farahany

Helping employees find justice in eleven states with offices in Illinois, Georgia, and Alabama.

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Race and color discrimination are similar, but there are some slight differences. According to the EEOC, race discrimination includes discrimination based on ancestry as well as physical or cultural characteristics of a certain race. These may include skin color, hair texture, and certain facial features. Color discrimination happens when an individual is singled out based on their skin pigmentation, complexion, shade, or tone (e.g., lightness or darkness of the skin). Color discrimination can occur between persons of different races or ethnicities or of the same race or ethnicity. For example, an African-American employer may practice color discrimination if they refuse to hire other African-Americans whose skin tone is darker than theirs.

Race Discrimination Attorneys

Race and Color Discrimination in the Workplace

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race and color. Though the law has been in existence for more than half a century, tens of thousands of employees file charges of racial discrimination each year with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If you believe you have been the victim of race discrimination in the workplace, you may have the right to compensation.

The race discrimination attorneys of Barrett & Farahany have extensive knowledge of this area of the law and what it takes to ensure that race discrimination victims are justly compensated. We understand the hardship individuals face when an employer’s race-based decisions adversely impact their livelihoods. We fight to hold employers who engage in such practices fully accountable.

Race and Color Discrimination in the Workplace
Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866

Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (Section 1981)

Section 1981 prohibits discrimination based on race or color in the making of contracts. Employers are also prohibited from making employment decisions based on assumptions and stereotypes about the characteristics of members of certain races, ethnicities, and skin colors. Prohibitions extend to all areas of employment. Section 1981 applies to all employers and does not require a minimum of 15 employees. Lawsuits under Section 1981 are nearly identical to Title VII lawsuits but may be filed without first filing with the EEOC.

Title VII Race Discrimination Protections

Title VII prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating based on race or color. Employers are also prohibited from making employment decisions based on assumptions and stereotypes about the characteristics of members of certain races, ethnicity, and skin colors. Prohibitions extend to all areas of employment, including:

Pre-Employment Requirements and Inquiries

Requesting information that discloses or may disclose the race or color of an applicant may be seen as racial discrimination. However, there is certain information that an employer may legitimately require that may tend to disclose the race or color of an applicant. For example, an employer may need information about an applicant’s race to track applicant flow or for affirmative action purposes. In such cases, the EEOC advises that employers use separate forms or otherwise keep the applicant’s race separate from the rest of their application.

Recruitment and Hiring

Employers should not express any racial hiring preferences, and employment agencies are not allowed to honor the requests of employers to exclude persons of certain races or colors. Recruiting exclusively on word-of-mouth or from sources likely to produce only applicants of a particular race or color should be avoided by employers. Other potentially illegal hiring practices include requiring applicants to have a certain education or background that is not important to the job or requiring applicants to undergo testing that is not necessary for the job.


Under Title VII, race or color cannot be the basis for differences in pay, benefits, bonuses, or any other type of compensation.


Race and color should not be barriers to the success of any employee. These factors should not be used to deny a promotion, raise, bonus, or any other benefit an employee has rightfully earned.

Segregation and Employment Classification

Under Title VII, employers are not allowed to segregate minority employees by isolating them physically from other employees or customers. In addition, employers are not allowed to exclude minorities from certain positions or group or categorize positions so that they are held mainly by minorities.


Employees are protected under Title VII from being harassed on the job because of their race or skin color. Any race-based conduct by management or co-workers that creates a hostile, offensive, or intimidating work environment and/or interferes with an employee’s work performance may be considered harassment. Examples include racial or ethnic slurs, jokes, derogatory or offensive comments, or physical assault.


Employees have a right to be free from retaliation for opposing racial discrimination at their place of employment, filing a race discrimination claim, or participating in an EEOC proceeding.


An employee cannot be laid off or fired based solely on race or skin color.

Discrimination on the basis of race or color can come in many forms. Some are more open and obvious, while others are more subtle and difficult to detect. These are divided into two general categories:

Disparate Treatment

When an employer intentionally singles out employees or applicants of a certain race or color for less favorable treatment, it is considered disparate treatment.

Disparate Impact

When an employer has a policy that appears to be neutral and is applied uniformly, but the policy tends to adversely impact employees of a certain race or color more than other employees, it may be considered a disparate impact policy.

Speak to Our Experienced Race Discrimination Lawyers

If you believe you have been the victim of racial discrimination, it is important to act sooner rather than later. Most employees have just 180 days to file EEOC charges. Our race discrimination attorneys in Alabama, Georgia, and Illinois can help you write and file your charge and guide you through the investigation process. Once you file a charge with the EEOC, they may investigate the claim, invite you to participate in mediation with your employer, issue a “right to sue” letter, or take another action. After you receive a “right to sue” letter, you can proceed with litigation against your employer.

Barrett & Farahany has a successful track record of securing favorable outcomes for many employees throughout Alabama and Georgia. We will fully assess your case and advise you of your options and the best legal strategy to obtain a positive result.

Contact our office for a complimentary consultation today.

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Barrett & Farahany

Georgia Office

3344 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 800
Atlanta, GA 30326

Alabama Office

2 20th St N, Suite 900,
Birmingham, AL 35203

Illinois Office

77 W. Wacker Dr. Suite 4500
Chicago, IL 60601


Existing Clients: 866-989-0120

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