Discrimination in the workplace, based on race or color is prohibited under both California and federal law. There are two types of racial discrimination an employee may face on the job: (1) disparate treatment—an employee is singled out on the basis of his or her race, or (2) disparate impact—rules and regulations of an employer that appear race-neutral but in practice impact people differently based on their race.

It is also unlawful to discriminate against an employee because of his or her association with people of a particular race. This kind of scenario typically arises when a supervisor singles out an employee because the employee is in a relationship with a person of a different race.

Under the federal law (Title VII), acts amount to illegal racial discrimination in the workplace when the acts affect an employee’s “terms or conditions of employment.” “Terms or conditions of employment” is defined as hiring, firing, title, rate of pay, position, team role, hours, vacations, etc. Under the California law (FEHA), an employer cannot take an “adverse employment action” against an employee based on race. “Adverse employment actions” include but are not limited to termination, demotion, failure to promote.


Unlawful discrimination can take on many forms. Below is a non-exhaustive list of employer’s (and supervisor’s) acts that the courts have found to be discriminatory.

  • Hiring procedures which tend to disfavor certain races;
  • The assignment of difficult or dangerous jobs to persons of color;
  • A greater workload for a particular race;
  • Lower salaries for minority groups;
  • Fewer benefits depending upon racial identity;
  • Fewer chances of promotion depending on race;
  • Fewer opportunities for training depending upon racial group; and
  • Termination based on discriminatory animus towards an employee’s race.


Tumber Law Firm is based in San Francisco, California. Our attorneys represent clients in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Monterey, Alameda, Contra Costa, Sacramento, Solano, Marin, and Sonoma Counties. Tumber Law Firm protects clients from retaliation, discrimination, and harassment involving dismissal, demotion, or denial of accommodation based on age, race, sex, religion, color, sexual orientation, marital status, association, physical or mental disability, or other legally protected classifications. Additionally we represent employees if they have not been paid the proper wages including overtime or minimum wage, or those not given the proper meal and rest breaks. If you believe that your rights have been violated, CONTACT US to setup your free consultation to discuss this matter. We take cases on a contingency basis and collect no attorney fees unless we win your case.