Discrimination at Work

A California prison guard filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) for discrimination at work based on his race and religion. The plaintiff is a Muslim and a native of Sudan, and alleges that he has been the recipient of racist and derogatory comments at work. He had filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) which he alleged aggravated the discrimination even more as retaliation. The U.S. Department of Justice did not act on the EEOC’s finding that discrimination may have occurred in the CDCR, which prompted corrections officer of 12 years to file a suit in federal court, seeking unspecified damages.

Workplace discrimination or any type of discrimination is considered a violation of an individual’s civil rights, and renders the tortfeasor (the individual or entity acting in a wrongful manner) liable in civil court. While the case above names a government entity as the defendant (this is allowed in California), civil rights violations are actionable in the private sector as well. In fact, discrimination is one of the few exceptions to the at-will employment regulations.

All US citizens are protected by the Constitution against discrimination in general, and workplace discrimination is a particularly touchy part of the law. However, proving discrimination in employment can be difficult, and plaintiffs are generally required to seek administrative relief by filing a case with the EEOC first prior to filing a case in civil court. This can take time, and many people are afraid to take action for fear of retaliation as alleged in the above case.

If you believe that you are a victim of discrimination because of your gender, race, religion, or any of the protected classes of people, then you may be able to get compensation for it.