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What is 'color' discrimination?

United States employers cannot discriminate against their employees on the basis of "race" or "color." This means that an employer cannot make hiring, firing, promotion, pay or other work-related decisions on the basis of an individual's race or color. Most Michigan residents know what "race" means in this context, as it refers to whether someone is black, white, Latino, Asian or some other race. However, most don't have an entirely clear view of what "color" discrimination is.

How is color discrimination different from racial discrimination?

The terms race and color do overlap to some extent, but when it comes to employment discrimination law, there is a distinction. Color discrimination at work involves treating someone differently because of the actual color, shade, complexion, pigmentation or tone of his or her skin. In this sense, one might review the activities of a workplace to find that not all black employees are discriminated against, but some black employees are because they have a different skin tone.

Perhaps, for example, darker-skinned black employees receive fewer opportunities than lighter-skinned black employees. This would be a clear example of "color discrimination" and by virtue of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this kind of discrimination is unlawful.

Are you dealing with discrimination at your job?

If you are being discriminated against because of the color of your skin, learn more about your legal rights and options and find out whether you may be able to pursue a color discrimination claim by visiting our website. The law may be on your side to seek justice and financial restitution for the harm and damages the discrimination has caused.

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