The federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, fringe benefits, and other aspects of employment on the basis of race. This law covers applicants to, and employees of, state and local governments, public or private educational institutions, and most private employers, employment agencies, labor unions, and apprenticeship programs. Both federal and state laws protect you against racial discrimination. An employer must decide to hire you based on your merits, abilities and comparison with other applicants. An employer who intentionally discriminates on the basis of race may be subject to a civil lawsuit. However, before bringing on such an action, it is necessary, under both state and federal law, to try all administrative remedies first. For more information, consult your local office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, and with an attorney knowledgeable in civil rights.