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Discrimination by Race and Color

Discrimination by Race and Color

The Missouri Human Rights Act (the Act) protects individuals against discrimination on the bases of race and color. The Act applies to employers with six or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies, “temp services,” labor organizations, landlords, housing providers, property managers, those selling houses, realtors and those providing loans for dwellings. The Act also covers all businesses that offer their goods and services to the general public, including state and local governments and therefore, those entities cannot refuse, withhold, or deny accommodations, advantages, facilities, or privileges to any person based on their race or color.

Equal employment opportunity, fair housing opportunity, and public accommodations cannot be denied to any person because of his/her racial group or perceived racial group, his/her race-linked characteristics (e.g., hair texture, color, facial features), or because of his/her marriage to or association with someone of a particular race or color.

Employers, housing providers, and places of public accommodations should adopt best practices to reduce the likelihood of discrimination and to address impediments to equal employment opportunity, fair housing, and public accommodations. Job requirements must be uniformly and consistently applied to persons of all races and colors. Similarly, rental and tenancy requirements must be uniformly and consistently applied to persons of all races and colors. Businesses should offer their goods and services without regard to the race or color of their customers.

Harassment/Hostile Environment

The Act prohibits offensive conduct, such as racial or ethnic slurs, racial jokes, derogatory comments, or other verbal or physical conduct based on an individual's race/color. Harassment or creating a hostile environment would mean the conduct is unwelcome and offensive, and has to be severe or pervasive. Employers, housing providers, and places of public accommodations are required to take appropriate steps to prevent and correct unlawful harassment and discrimination. Likewise, employees, tenants, and customers are responsible for reporting harassment and discrimination at an early stage to prevent its escalation.

Terms, Conditions, and Privileges

The Act prohibits discrimination in compensation and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. Thus, race or color discrimination may not be the basis for differences in pay or benefits, work assignments, performance evaluations, training, discipline or discharge, or any other area of employment. Likewise, the Act prohibits harassment and discrimination in the terms, conditions, and privileges of housing. Therefore, race or color may not be the basis for differences in rent charged or the sale price of a house, the terms of housing loans, lease requirements, or rules of tenancy. The Act also prohibits harassment and discrimination in places of public accommodations. Thus, race or color cannot be used as a basis for denying goods or services or for applying different terms or conditions on the provision of goods or services including local and state governments.

If you believe that you have been discriminated against, you can file a complaint of discrimination.

Contact

Missouri Commission on Human Rights
3315 W. Truman Blvd., Rm 212
P.O. Box 1129
Jefferson City, MO 65102-1129
Phone: 573-751-3325
Toll-Free Complaint Hotline: 1-877-781-4236
Relay Missouri: 711
Relay Missouri: 1-800-735-2966 (TDD)
Fax: 573-751-2905
mchr@labor.mo.gov