Is it discrimination for an African American to be on light duty and be able to work, while a white on light duty gets sent home?

UPDATED: Aug 24, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Aug 24, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is it discrimination for an African American to be on light duty and be able to work, while a white on light duty gets sent home?

I was put on light duty by my doctor, and have missed several days of work (all excused by my doctor) and I’m about to have to have surgery. My boss sent me home twice. The first time he said, “(other employee) is on light duty through workman’s comp, this is just your thing”.The second time he said, “I have to send you home, I have nothing for you. I already have 1 guy on light duty and you don’t look good walking around here”. I am white, and the other employee on light duty is African American.

Asked on August 24, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Illegal racially based employment discrimination occurs when an employee is treated differently due to his or her race. That does not mean that a white employee cannot be treated differently than a black employee, or vice versa--just that the employee's race cannot be the reason for the difference. If there is a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for the difference, then there is no discrimination. So if there was only enough light duty work for one person, for example, and it was given to a black employee prior to you receiving your work restrictions, that may well not be discrimination; or it would not be discrimination if you and he have different restrictions, and his restrictions let him do some useful work at this employer, while your restrictions do not.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption