The Wyoming Fair Employment Practices Act of 1965 prohibits discrimination in employment based on race or color (WY Stat. Sec. 27-9-101 et seq.). The law applies to all public employers and private employers with two or more employees. Under the state law, it is an unlawful employment practice to:
• Refuse to hire, discharge, promote, demote, or otherwise discriminate in compensation or in the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.
• Reduce the wage of any employee to comply with the law.
Bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exception. It may be permissible to hire an individual on the basis of race because of a BFOQ (e.g., hiring actors to portray individuals of a certain race). These situations are rare, however, and employers should be cautious in relying on such a rationale when making employment decisions that have a disproportionate impact on persons of a particular group.
Racial harassment in the workplace constitutes race discrimination when it creates a hostile work environment. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an employee could pursue his claim of racial harassment because he presented sufficient evidence of racial slurs, insults, and graffiti in the workplace to support his claim (Tademy v. Union Pacific Corp.,614 F.3d 1132 (10th Cir. 2008)). According to the court, there was also sufficient evidence that the employer knew of the harassment and failed to take adequate steps to remedy the situation. Despite the fact that the graffiti was left anonymously, the court cited several other cases in which employers had taken reasonable measures to end such harassment, including taking pictures of the graffiti, interviewing employees who were suspected, ...