Race, National Origin and Religious Discrimination

Heather Conger

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act, as well as Title VII, prohibits discrimination based on race, national origin or religion. Employers are not permitted to fire, layoff, demote, or deny promotions based upon an employee’s race, color, national origin or religion. An employee can prove a race, national origin or religious discrimination case based upon direct or circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence includes racist or other discriminatory statements about the decision and/or the employee who is discriminated against.

Circumstantial evidence—or indirect evidence—is equally important in a race, national origin, or religious discrimination case. It is important to remember that cases can be proven without any direct or “smoking gun” evidence.

Evidence of discrimination can be proven by how the person who made the discriminatory decision treated other employees. For example, in a race discrimination case brought by an African American employee, evidence that the decision maker treated other African American employees poorly is important, as it shows the decision maker’s state of mind and bias. On the other hand, if the decision maker treats non-African Americans more favorably, this may also help to prove that the motive of the decision maker was discriminatory.

Siegel LeWitter Malkani has represented employees in race, national origin and religious discrimination cases since its inception. We are proud of the work we do, and work aggressively to obtain all evidence to support our cases. Some of our cases with claims of race, national origin and religious discrimination include the following:

  • Representing three African American managers in a race discrimination arbitration in which we proved that the managers’ performance, especially their economic performance, was as good as their white comparators, yet the African American managers were fired, constructively terminated or demoted. An arbitrator found that the evidence was such that an award of punitive damages was warranted, a very unusual finding in arbitration. The total award exceeded $3,600,000.
  • Representing an employee against a governmental entity for religious discrimination. After a very hard fought case and numerous depositions, we were able to defeat the employer’s motion for summary judgment and settle the case.

If you believe Siegel LeWitter Malkani could provide assistance to you in a possible race, national origin, or religious discrimination case, please contact the firm.

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