What constitutes discrimination based on race?

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What constitutes discrimination based on race?

I turned in a 2 weeks notice to resign along with another employee. I am white; she is black. They are letting her work out her notice but not me. We are both nurses and our resigning is leaving the office in a shortage of case managers and they were upset and tried to get us to stay but we both declined. The office administrator, director of nursing, clinical supervisor, business office manager and all other office staff are black. There are only 4 white employees to about 20 black employees in this office. There have been comments made about “my people” during my employement.

Asked on April 27, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Racial discrimination in employment is taking negative action against one employee, or favoring another, based on the employee's race--i.e., without some other legitimate business reason. From what you state, you may be facing racial discrimination: what you have written would seem to be enough to establish a "prima facie," or "on its face," case of discrimination, though the employer could rebut that by showing that there was some non-discriminatory reason for the disparate treatment, such as the other nurse having more experience than you, or some credential/training you lack.

However, even if this is discrimination, it may not be worthwhile taking action--from what you write, since you turned in your resignation voluntarily, you are, at most, being deprived of two weeks employment and pay, which may not be worth the time, effort and costs--not just monetary, but also in terms of stress--of legal action. If you do want to explore legal action, you should consult with an employment law attorney.


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