Black, Red, White, Blue, Green. It doesn’t matter. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects all employees from race discrimination. Title VII, as well as Ohio’s R.C. § 4112.99, prohibits discrimination against any race, any religion, any national origin, and both genders equally; one cannot discriminate in favor of one over another. While claims by White employees are commonly referred to as reverse discrimination, Title VII does not distinguish between race and, in fact, never mentions a particular race. Thus, employers cannot hire, promote, or otherwise favor only African American employees over White employees.
A good example just popped up in the news. Fulton County Manager Thomas Andrews promoted an African-American woman to the job of Director of Human Services, even though Douglas Carl, a white male, had been deputy director and was serving as interim director at the time. At trial, there was testimony that County Commissioner Emma Darnell supposedly said there were “too many white boys” in the Human Services Department and that she preferred a black female for the job. According to the story, Andrews admittedly testified referring to employees as “black marbles” and “white marbles” in making personnel decisions, but balked at any suggestion that he had discriminated against Carl. The jury awarded $300,000. The federal judge then awarded Carl an additional $885,293 in back pay, interest and lost pension benefits. But, that is not the end of it. The judge has yet to rule on the motion for attorneys’ fees, which has been placed at around $500,000. If you are keeping score at home, that would put the payout at $1.7 million.
The take away: (1) White employees suffer discrimination; (2) employment decisions cannot be based on race at all; (3) it is still discrimination based on race to promote a less qualified candidate to create diversity; and (4) it is costly for employers to lose race discrimination cases.
If you even think that your employment rights have been violated or that you might need an employment lawyer, then call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040. The Spitz Law Firm is dedicated to protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.
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