It comes with no surprise that employers in Minnesota and elsewhere use specific requirements when filling an available employee position. While it is common to require certain characteristics and conditions of applicants, such as a college degree, advanced degrees, specified knowledge and certain physical capabilities, there are certain characteristics that cannot be used during pre-employment screening to determine whether an applicant is appropriate for a position.

One major factor that cannot be used to assess the quality of an applicant is race. Race discrimination is prohibited and cannot be used intentionally or unintentionally in work policies or for hiring criteria. Such circumstances are protected and covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

How does Title VII protect applicants from race discrimination? Title VII protects against various forms of discrimination based on races, especially in the hiring process. This includes the recruiting, hiring and advancements phases in a place of employment. Job requirements must be uniformly and consistently applied to all applicants or employees. Information based on the applicant’s or employee’s race cannot be a determining factor. Additionally, all information used in these processes must have a legitimate purpose that will be used as a basis for making a selection decision.

In addition to protecting applicants for a position or advancement, Title VII also protects employees from being harassed, mistreated and segregated based on race. If an employee speaks out about race discrimination in the workplace, Title VII also provides protection from employer retaliation.

When instances of race discrimination occur in the hiring or employment of an individual, it is important to obtain evidence of the situation. This could help the individual file an action. This could hold an employer accountable for their action and help the applicant or employee recover damages arising from the situation.

Source: Eeoc.gov, “Facts About Race/Color Discrimination,” accessed Aug. 17, 2015