Is it discrimination when identified by your race when checking on an application?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it discrimination when identified by your race when checking on an application?

My Son called back on an application and
the person told her manager that it was
a black guy on the phone. The manager
said they were to busy to talk and if he
got a call back that then it’s a job

Asked on December 12, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Identifying or asking about race is not discrimination: not hiring someone solely or mostly due to race (and not due to legitimate business/employment concerns, like a lack of experience or necessary credentials) is discrimination. It is the discriminatory action, not possessing or inquiring about racial identify, which would be illegal. If your son does not get the job but believes he was a qualified candidate, and therefore that the reason he did not get the job was his race or color, he should contact the federal EEOC to file a complaint.

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.

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