Race-based Discrimination in Everyday Life

Race-based discrimination in the workplace is unfortunately common, and this is reflected in the wealth of information available on what to do when it happens to you. Discrimination in public settings is less clear however, such as if you go to a restaurant and are treated unfavorably because of your race. Is there legal recourse for those who are discriminated against because of their race in everyday life?you

Yes, in fact, there is.

Title II Section 201a of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states:

“All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

Clearly then, it is illegal for any establishment open to the public to deny entry or service to anyone because of their race, or to treat them any differently from other people. If you believe that you have personally witnessed a violation of Title II through race-based discrimination, then you may have a case if you have some proof such as a video or audio recording of the incident, or if your discrimination lawyer can establish a pattern of behavior or identify a company policy that may be considered discriminatory. If the employer you work for is discriminatory, they should be brought to justice. If this has happened to you, make sure to act quickly.

There have been precedents, including the 1994 settlement by restaurant chain Denny’s for $52 million when a class action suit representing thousands of their African-American customers was filed against the chain for racial discrimination under Title II. More recently, two African American men filed a suit against the Broadway Apple Store in New York for denying them entry and service because of their race.  The case is pending as of publication.

Race-based discrimination is still rampant, but you don’t have to take it lying down. Your civil rights should be protected at all times, and there are laws that do just that so long as you are willing to exercise your rights.

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