Tina, a brown-skinned woman of Mexican descent, is a new office clerk. Her primary duties are to sort and file purchase orders and invoices. Within a few weeks, it is clear to the employer that Tina is processing her purchase orders and invoices too slowly due to mistakes. The employer terminates Tina, who then files a charge alleging race discrimination. The investigation reveals that although White employees who perform at a substandard level are coached toward increasingly good performance, Tina and other employees of color get less feedback and thus tend to repeat mistakes and make new ones that could have been avoided. The evidence establishes that the employer unlawfully terminated Tina.
Multiple protected bases of discrimination can be raised by the same set of facts, both because negative stereotypes and biases may be directed at more than one protected basis at a time, and because certain protected bases overlap considerably. Thus, for example, a discrimination complaint by an “Asian Indian” can implicate race, color, and national origin, as can, for example, a complaint by a Black person from an African nation, or by a dark-skinned Latino. For Title VII purposes, the question is whether any prohibited factors led to an adverse employment action, alone or combined.
Race | Definition of Race by Merriam-Webster
Race and color cases generally fall under one of two categories, depending on which category most suits the facts – disparate treatment and disparate impact. Disparate treatment discrimination occurs when race or another protected trait is a motivating factor in how an individual is treated. Disparate impact discrimination occurs when a neutral policy or practice has a significant negative impact on one or more protected groups, and either the policy or practice is not job-related and consistent with business necessity or there is a less discriminatory alternative and the employer has refused to adopt it.