Justia Lawyer Rating
badge - The State Bar of California
badge - OCBA
badge - Expertise, Best Personal Injury Attorneys in Orange 2020
badge - Expertise, Best Employment Lawyers in Orange 2021
badge - lawyers.com

Race Discrimination

California Attorneys Representing Workers Against Employers

Race DiscriminationYou hope that your employer will act based on your work performance, rather than your racial identity. Race discrimination is unlawful under both federal and state laws. However, unfortunately, some employers still behave in biased and bigoted ways and make important decisions based on an employee’s race. If you are subject to adverse treatment due to your race, you may be able to recover damages for race discrimination by filing a lawsuit. You should discuss your situation with the Orange County race discrimination lawyers at the Serendib Law Firm.

Race Discrimination

Race discrimination occurs whenever an employer takes an adverse step against an employee due to his or her race. It can include termination, harassment, failure to promote, demotion, disparate pay, or denial of other terms, conditions, or privileges of employment afforded to other employees, based on the employee’s race. Race discrimination is distinct from color discrimination, although sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference. The federal law that prohibits race discrimination is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII applies only to employers that have at least 15 employees. It also caps damages. In most cases, it is less favorable to an employee than the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is.


FEHA applies to California employers with at least five employees. Under FEHA, it is unlawful for covered employers to discriminate against job applicants or employees due to their race, or to retaliate against them for complaining of race discrimination. For instance, if you were denied a promotion because you are Black, and consequently your supervisor does not see you as leadership material, a race discrimination attorney in Orange County may be able to help you bring a claim. For another example, if you are an Asian American job applicant who is not hired because a prospective employer has stereotyped Asian Americans as too subservient, you may have a claim for race discrimination. In some cases, it may be difficult to distinguish race discrimination from national origin discrimination or religious discrimination.

FEHA prohibits discrimination based not only on actual race but also on perceived race. It also prohibits race discrimination based on an employee’s relationship with an individual or individuals in a protected class. Generally, it may be possible to recover damages based on associational race discrimination if you have a friend, familial, personal, or acquaintance relationship with someone of a certain race, and you are treated adversely because of that relationship.

Recently, California’s governor signed into law a prohibition on race discrimination that includes discrimination based on texture and protective hairstyles. The law specifies that race includes traits historically connected to race, such as twists, locks, and braids. The law is intended to protect Black workers.

Our Orange County race discrimination attorneys can help you bring a claim even if you are not certain exactly which of your protected traits is at issue. The critical question is whether you were subject to discriminatory negative treatment because you belong to a group that is perceived as different when measured against others in the workplace.


If we can establish liability for race discrimination, you may be able to recover damages. These often include compensation for both economic and non-economic losses, such as back pay, front pay, benefits, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. If an employer’s conduct was truly egregious, it may be possible to request and recover punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages, these are meant to punish a wrongdoer and deter future wrongdoing.

Consult a Dedicated Employment Attorney

Race discrimination can impede an employee’s professional advancement and derail their career. While most employers will refrain from openly engaging in race discrimination, it still may occur in subtle forms. If you believe that you were subject to race discrimination, you should consult the employment attorneys at the Serendib Law Firm. We represent people in Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties. Call us at 1-800-LAW-8825 (800-529-8825) or contact us via our online form to talk to a race discrimination lawyer at our Orange County firm.

Client Reviews
"Integrity, competency, and compassion! Dimuth Amaratunga has represented me and counseled me in several matters over the last several years, and each time, I have benefited tremendously from his knowledge, his wisdom and his empathy. He is without a doubt an authority in employment law and personal injury. But most importantly, he has compassion and truly focused on getting the best result for his clients. I am a practicing attorney and I wholeheartedly recommend him and his firm!" David J.