African American Discrimination



African American discrimination happens all over the place and quite often in the workplace. State and Federal Labor Laws prohibit race or color discrimination; but that doesn't seem to stop some employers from letting it happen!















The court stated that incidental or occasional racial comments, discourtesy, rudeness, or isolated incidents…


A court decision in the case of Covington v. Roy's Nutrition Ctrs. Inc., N.D. Tex, stated that although an African American person who was employed as a clerk was the subject of racist comments, like "go help your people," it was not considered enough to rule against the employer. The court stated that occasional or incidental racial comments, rudeness, discourtesy, or isolated events (except when they are extremely serious) are not considered discriminatory changes in the conditions and terms of an employees employment. WOW is all I can say! It almost seems unfair, but then again I am not certain of all the intricate details of the case. Nonetheless, it still upsets me that people can still be very insensitive to another persons feelings.



good leadership skills
Good Leadership Skills For Life Fast Fact:

Large bank agrees to pay $225,000 for discrimination in their hiring practices alleging that they gave priority to non minority applicants for clerical positions.


african american discrimination




Now I know that we all say things, even I, that are not fair from time to time. Generally we say them when we are upset! However, comments like "go help your people" is so blatantly African American discrimination, at least in my opinion which I guess doesn't count!

How about the African American discrimination claim where a clerk stated that a Norman Rockwell print of a young African American girl walking past a wall with the N word painted on it was offensive. The court’s decision in Williams v. Marin County, N.D. California stated this was not extreme enough to prove discriminatory harassment. There is more to this particular case but you get the point! In this particular case even a well known artist's picture inspired someone to file a claim of African American discrimination. From an employer's standpoint it still will cost money to defend the claim even if they have done nothing wrong. My personal opinion would be to be respectful of your employees and potential customers.

good leadership skills
Good Leadership Skills For Life Fast Fact:

The US EEOC brought a lawsuit against a large staffing firm for failing to refer African Americans and employees older than forty for positions. The company agreed to pay $580,000 to settle the allegations.



They all signed a fifty year agreement to bar African Americans


Fortunately this question of African American Discrimination was answered by the Supreme Court in 1948, when the court made a decision on the SHELLEY V. KRAEMER , 334 U.S. 1 (1948).

In the above case residents signed a private agreement that would restrict the residence to only Caucasians within a very specific area for fifty years. This was ignorance at its very best!

The question in this case was whether private property owners could dictate who they could sell their homes to. This meant that those that signed the agreement could not sell their properties to anyone other than a Caucasian person for fifty years from the date of the agreement. The agreement was signed by thirty out of thirty nine property owners on a certain street on February 16, 1911, in the city of Saint Louis.


The idea that people were so worried about this that they collectively got together to draft up and sign an agreement...


The idea that people were so worried about this that they collectively got together to draft up and sign an agreement like this is mind boggling. Yes this took place a number of years ago, but African American Discrimination still exists today. As long as there are differences in people’s skin color there will be discrimination based solely on ignorance.

Although in most cases discrimination when it occurs is disguised.

good leadership skills
Good Leadership Skills For Life Fast Fact:

A very large company agreed to pay $12 million dollars to settle a class action lawsuit for racial discrimination.



If they want a picture with your resume be aware that this is most likely discrimination...


Let’s talk about the workplace for a moment. We know that African American Discrimination still occurs here probably more than anywhere else, although that can be debated.

Places that require a picture when submitting a resume are wrong and could be violating the law. What does a picture of someone have to do with the job? Now if the job is for modeling of course it makes sense. But if the job is for almost anything else it doesn’t.

The good news is that there are laws against African American discrimination. The bad news is that people are still ignoring them, but are trying to be smarter so that they are not caught. The bigger question is why do they feel they need to discriminate?

Anytime we talk about African American Discrimination we need to start with the United States Constitution, Amendment Fourteen! Let's refresh our memories;


All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


This amendment was proposed all the way back in June of 1866. It was ratified on July 9, 1868.


This amendment was proposed all the way back in June of 1866. It was ratified on July 9, 1868.

As you may have guessed a lot of African American discrimination occurred after this amendment was ratified, and still to this day does!

So why does African American discrimination still occur even though state and federal labor laws deem it illegal?

Heck it wasn't until May 17, 1954 that the United States Supreme Court decided that African Americans should not be segregated from whites as it relates to public schools in the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision. So it took from 1868 to 1954 just to decide that African Americans should be afforded the same opportunities as whites when it comes to a public education. The courts didn't care if the facilities were exactly the same or not. Have we as Americans completely gone nuts? Why would it take that long to decide something that seems so very clear in the fourteenth amendment! Once this amendment was ratified it should have cleared up everything, yet African American discrimination still occurs.


The decision determined that States can't make it illegal for a white person to marry an African American…


Another eye opening Unite States Supreme Court decision came down on June 12, 1967. Now I was around in 1967, but I was only eight years old. When I think about the fact that in this decision it referenced the fourteenth amendment again, it makes my head almost hurt from the idea that this even had to be decided in court! The decision determined that States can't make it illegal for a white person to marry an African American. Can you believe that this was illegal up until then in the State of Virginia? In fact the married couple was sentenced to one year in prison but instead were asked to leave the State of Virginia and not return as a married couple.

Now I must qualify myself when I tell you that I am a White male who was born in the fifties. My father would make very negative references to African Americans almost at will and openly. It was and is embarrassing. My point is that the unfortunate fact is that when one group of people thinks that they are somehow superior because of something they were born with, like skin color, discrimination is going to happen. It is total ignorance! Not acceptable at all!


In this case a twenty-six year African American factory worker who alleged that he was only acting in self defense was fired…


The next example could be a little more difficult to determine but I am guessing that the court made the right decision in the Ford v. General Electric Lighting LLC case. In this case a twenty-six year African American factory worker who alleged that he was only acting in self defense was fired along with the other employee for fighting. The court ruled that this was not African American discrimination since both employees were fired for violating a company rule. I would agree with this case but of course I don't know the details so I guess it is easy for me to have an opinion!

One thing is for sure about African American discrimination claims and that is that as an employer you better take them very seriously. Your employee handbook better address several things about anyone who feels they have been discriminated against such as whom do they report it to. The Williams v. Waste Management of III court decision stated that although a supervisor did not conduct a textbook investigation about racial harassment it did take action to stop it once it was identified to them. This is a good example of why it is important to take action. That doesn't mean it's off with someone's head if they are accused of something. It simply means do an investigation and take reasonable action based on the results of that investigation.

Let's end this discussion with repeating the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution once again;

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Could it be anymore clear?


Good Luck and May God Bless You!

Thank you for reviewing this article about African American Discrimination - Return to Discrimination