The U.S. court of appeals in Richmond recently allowed a discrimination claim based on color, as in skin color, making it clear that such a claim is separate and distinct from a claim for race discrimination.

In the case, Felder v. MGM National Harbor, the plaintiff claimed that African Americans with light skin – like him – were treated more harshly than African Americans with darker skin.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 specifically protects employees on the basis of color was well as race, sex, religion, and national origin, but claims of color discrimination are much less common than others; the EEOC reported that in Fiscal Year 2021, only 5.7% of its charges included claims of color discrimination.

But color discrimination, and claims based on it, are real.