Do I have a discrimination case against my employer if my race may be a factor in my treatment?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do I have a discrimination case against my employer if my race may be a factor in my treatment?

I was hired into a 2 person job but my co-worker quit. It’s been over a year and they still have not replaced her. I have suffered a documented back injury in the past few months and my employeers keep giving me the runaround regarding hiring someone else. Every other employee works with at least one other person but I am denied help with little to no reason. Also, I am the only person of color working in my department.

Asked on September 1, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, most employment is "at will". This means that an employer can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit unless there is a union agreement or employment contract that states otherwise. Also, a company cannot engage is any form of legally actionable discrimination. This means that a worker cannot receive lesser treatment than their co-workers due to the religion, ethnicity, gender, disability, age (over 40) or race. However, race must be the sole reason for their treatment, it cannot also be based on poor work performance, absenteeism or the like. From what you have written, you may have a claim based on employment discrimination. To be certain of your rights, you can contact the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) or consult directly with an employment law attorney; they can best advise you further. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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