What is reverse discrimination, and does Title VII cover it?

| Jul 9, 2021 | Race Discrimination |

You hear complaints about it more these days than ever before — a person of a majority group undergoes unfair treatment as a result of belonging to said group. If you experience unfair treatment because of your status as a member of a majority group, you may be the subject of what some refer to as “reverse discrimination.”

Though the term sounds official, it is not a legal term the U.S. courts recognize. Does that mean, though, that you do not have any legal remedies as a victim of reverse discrimination?

What is reverse discrimination?

According to Workplace Fairness, reverse discrimination refers to discrimination against a historically advantaged or “majority” group. In America, examples of said groups might include individuals who identify as white; who identify as Christian; who identify as straight; or who identify as either male or female. You may perceive yourself as the victim of reverse discrimination in the workplace if, say, your boss routinely passes you up for promotions for persons of color, or if your supervisor allows for prayer breaks for Muslim employees but not for Christian workers.

Does Title VII cover reverse discrimination?

The federal and state governments enacted anti-discrimination laws such as Title VII to prevent discrimination against historically disadvantaged or minority groups who, in the past, struggled to obtain work or advance themselves in the workplace. Because of this, many people are of the notion that these same laws do not protect individuals in majority groups. This is not the case. Anti-discrimination laws prohibit discrimination in the workplace, period, regardless of the victim’s characteristics or place within an advantaged group.

If you suspect that you are the subject of reverse discrimination in the workplace, you may have more rights than you realize. A lawyer can help you explore those rights and take appropriate action.

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