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Challenge Yourself!

Sheila and Valerie work at a skating rink. Both Sheila and Valerie are Black, but Sheila has a light skin tone and Valerie has a darker skin tone. Sheila always asks Valerie to clean the floors and empty the trash. Sheila does not ask Black employees with light skin tone or White employees to do these tasks, even though all employees are responsible for clean-up. Could Sheila be discriminating against Valerie?

  1. A is incorrect.
    It does not matter that Sheila and Valerie are both Black. It is possible for individuals of the same race to discriminate against each other because of differences in their skin tone or other differences that are protected by federal law, such as gender or national origin.

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  2. B is correct.
    Federal law prohibits discrimination based on skin color. It is illegal for Sheila to make job assignments, or other employment decisions, based on employees' skin color.

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  3. C is incorrect.
    As a supervisor, Sheila has the right to make work assignments. Sheila is not required to assign less desirable work, such as cleaning, to the newest employees. Sheila may ask employees to perform specific clean-up tasks, as long as she does not assign the tasks based on an illegal reason, such as someone's skin color or race.

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  4. D is incorrect.
    Title VII (Title Seven) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal law that prohibits discrimination based on skin color, applies to companies with at least 15 employees.

    FUN FACT: Some states and cities may have employment discrimination laws that apply to smaller companies (companies with less than 15 employees). Does your state or city have these laws? Research and find out!

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