The concepts of ethnicity and race are two that are very often confused by individuals and even in public media.
Race refers to physical attributes and appearances, so things like skin color, hair color, and bone structure. So this is what is being described when you listen to concepts like Caucasian, Asian, African American. Even these descriptions are somewhat confusing when you consider them in terms of ethnicity. Ethnicity refers to cultural factors such as nationality, culture, language and beliefs. So in this case someone could be considered ethnically American, or ethnically American and English speaker. This overlaps quite a bit when you consider a race grouping like Asian, which actually has so many ethnic groups one would struggle to name even half.
Usage of the two is commonly confused in public discourse and media leading many to not clearly understand the distinctions discussed above. When you hear something in the media like, "The American race," there is really no such thing.
The best way to keep them straight is to remember that race is physical while ethnicity is well... .everything else.
There have been many laws created to minimize discrimination based on race and ethnicity in the workplace. One of the first laws in place to eliminate workplace discrimination was Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This act made it unlawful to discriminate based on race, religion, sex, or national origin. There have been many more laws created since 1964 and these laws are enforced by the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC).