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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 3 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. 


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