Recognizing Racial Discrimination During a Hiring Process
Employers cannot make hiring or recruitment decisions on the basis of a candidate’s race. Some types of recruitment discrimination can be extremely obvious, while others will be less overt. It is important to pay careful attention to what is said during an interview if you suspect race may play an improper role in a company’s hiring decisions.
You may be experiencing race discrimination during a hiring process if:
- You are asked about your skin color, hairstyle, dress, accent, or country of origin
- Your recruiter or interviewer worries about your “fitting in” in an office that is predominantly made up of people of another race
- You are qualified for the job, but an unqualified person of another race is ultimately hired
- Your recruiter or interviewer references racial stereotypes or slurs
- Your recruiter or interviewer otherwise calls unwarranted attention to your race
Filing a Racial Discrimination Claim
When you believe you have been discriminated against on the basis of race in the workplace or during a hiring process, you will need to act quickly. You can choose to pursue a claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI). While you can choose to address your concerns with your employer through an internal grievance procedure or human relations department, it is important to remember that companies will generally move to protect themselves and are not looking out for you.
In most cases where both state and federal rules apply, you will have as many as 300 days to submit a complaint to the EEOC after an act of racial discrimination has occurred. You will have up to 5 years from the date of the discrimination incident to file a claim with BOLI, but it is often in your best interest to file as soon as possible.
After receiving your complaint, the EEOC and BOLI will perform an investigation and review available evidence about the allegations of race discrimination. If either agency determines that race discrimination likely occurred, they will attempt to negotiate a settlement with your employer. Should negotiations fail, the EEOC or BOLI can file a lawsuit against your employer.
You may have the opportunity to file a lawsuit against your employer yourself after an EEOC or BOLI investigation. If the EEOC or BOLI choose not to litigate after determining race discrimination likely occurred or if they conclude that there is insufficient evidence to suggest race discrimination occurred, you will typically be served with a Notice of Right to Sue. You will then have up to 90 days to initiate legal action against your employers.
Our Portland race discrimination lawyers at Bullman Law Firm can assist you with all elements of your claim. We can help you prepare documentation and evidence for your BOLI or EEOC claim and fight for your interests in any necessary legal action.