Is It Discriminatory to Get Tasked Assignments Based on Race? | Mann & Elias"
Skip links

Is It Discriminatory to Get Tasked Assignments Based on Race?


In the past year, race relations and racial discrimination have been at the forefront of company politics. Not only are small to large businesses re-evaluating how they improve their work environment to be more inclusive to all, but they are also taking preventative measures like requiring diversity and inclusion training. While these are good strategies, not all employers and employees adhere to them. In this article, we discuss whether it is discriminatory to be given assignments with racial intent. If you or a loved one has, or you experienced prejudice or racial bias at work, reach out to a work discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles.

How Does Race Discrimination Manifest at Work?

Discrimination is any form of negative, unwanted treatment against an employee due to his or her race and race-related characteristics. Characteristics may be skin tone, hairstyle, hair texture, and facial features. In most cases, victims of discrimination are also targeted differently based on the hue of their complexion. Normally, this type of characterization is displayed between two or more individuals of the same background. In the office, it is unlawful for employees to be treated unfairly based on their race. Examples of unwanted behavior include:

  • Racially biased assignments (targeted keywords).
  • Racial slurs.
  • Racist jokes.
  • Engaging in racial stereotypes.
  • Signs of racist paraphernalia.
  • Making an employment decision based on race and/or color.

Oftentimes when this happens, victims of discrimination are unsure of how to approach and appropriately handle the situation. Getting

involved may feel uncomfortable, as many fear the risk of retaliation from an employer. The best thing to do if you are facing harassment at work is to retain a lawyer for racial discrimination claims.

Implicit Bias – It Plays A Significant Role

Implicit bias is one of three biases that contribute to a racist environment at work. Employers that engage in subtle racist behavior or discriminatory tendencies are subconsciously doing so. To avoid the consequences companies are starting to incorporate diversity training, as implicit bias is hard to prove unless a complaint comes forward. Pleading ignorance is a common excuse when a claim is brought against the business, which is why a Los Angeles discrimination attorney will suggest that victims document and retain evidence of racist behavior.

Similarly, racial discrimination may not always be apparent through work assignments. Depending on the circumstances, microaggressions can be subtle. An example of a racially targeted action is when you are tasked with assignments that are unfit for your role. If you are one of few people of color on the team, it may be an assignment that differs from co-workers or staff with similar positions. The manager or employer’s intention may be to keep you in the background and limit your contributions to the company. If you experience unfavorable treatment and feel your employers’ actions are the borderline of harassment, it should be reported.

Reporting Racial Discrimination

Any form of harassment or discrimination at work must be reported to a state or federal agency. However, before starting the official process, it is best to talk to the offender first. You may find that the situation has surpassed a simple negotiation and discussion. However, it can help prove that the offender’s actions were in fact intended – which your LA lawyer for racial discrimination in the workplace, will help you prove. In this case, the victim would discuss the nature of the assignment, if/how it was racially targeted, and a clear statement on how it was offensive. For a clear record it is best to have a paper trail (e-mail) to use in the trial.

Next, a complaint should be made within the company. Normally HR will have a clear procedure as to how a harassment or discrimination complaint should be submitted. Vocalizing the treatment you faced, and how the employer engaged in racist behavior gives the company an opportunity to conduct an investigation. Unlike a harassment case, you may not be able to immediately hold the company liable. In this type of case, once an internal complaint is made the company has an opportunity to improve the situation. However, if they fail to take immediate action against the offender, you can take legal action for damages caused.

To get started your employment attorney in Los Angeles will help you file an administrative charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This legal requirement allows the EEOC to conduct a separate investigation. Under rare circumstances, they file a lawsuit on your behalf. Though, the purpose of the agency’s involvement is to exhaust all possible mediation tactics to prevent having to move forward in the legal process. When they finish processing your claim, a right to sue letter will be issued to you (greenlighting when you can file a lawsuit).

Whether you’ve noticed racial bias in your project description or were handed an assignment that alienated you from your co-workers, you should retain a lawyer immediately to protect yourself and your job.

About Mann & Elias

The Law Offices of Mann & Elias is an employment law firm that provides guidance and legal support for individuals facing issues in the workplace. We represent clients at every level of the state and federal court systems in lawsuits regarding discrimination, wrongful termination, unpaid wages, and more. When your case is in our hands, we hope to minimize stress and concerns associated with work.

Workplace disputes and negotiations can be complicated and uncomfortable between an employee and employer. In many cases an employer can retaliate, causing individuals to feel that they are at a great disadvantage in the company. When you retain one of our lawyers, you will be well-protected and advised. While there are thousands of lawyers to choose from, we strongly believe our success is based on:

  • 50+ years of trial experience
  • Excellent advocacy skills
  • Intense preparation and research
  • Quality care

Since our partnership began over 20 years ago, we have settled hundreds of claims, completed 100 jury and bench trials, and recovered more than $18 million in settlements. In the end, our goal is to understand what you need and achieve the best outcome for you by focusing on those needs. For dedicated representation with no upfront fees, give us a call at 323-866-9564 or email


    This website uses cookies to improve your web experience.
    Call| Text |