An interesting case was decided recently by the New Mexico Court of Appeals. A woman named Natalie Garcia was a school bus driver for the Hatch Valley Public School System. The town of Hatch is known for its phenomenal chilies and is a very Hispanic town in southern New Mexico. While the bus driver’s name is Garcia, she is not Hispanic but rather of German descent. The school district moved to dismiss her claim of discrimination that she was being treated differently because she was a Caucasian.
Interestingly, the district argued that Hispanics are not a separate race but, in fact, are a subset of Caucasians and, therefore, Ms. Garcia could not make a claim for discrimination based on race. The state and federal laws, however, do cover national origin or ethnic discrimination with the focus essentially on whether someone is discriminated against because they don’t belong to a particular ethnic group.
The court concluded that Mrs. Garcia’s case could go forward even though she was white and non-Hispanic because reverse discrimination is illegal under the law just the same as is discrimination against a racial or ethnic minority.
If you believe you have been the victim of employment discrimination, you should consult an experienced discrimination lawyer at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. Call us at 1-800-240-1988 or fill out our online contact form.