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Racial Discrimination Lawyer New York

Race Discrimination Lawyers New York

Serving Clients in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, & Florida

Why Should Workers Not Face Race Discrimination?

When you go to work, you expect to be judged on your job performance and skills, not your race. Some companies do make adverse employment decisions based on an employee’s race, including those instances when the employee is mixed-race. Your need for a Race discrimination attorney can involve racial jokes or derogatory comments, along with physical assault or abuse. Sometimes a bigoted remark constitutes racial harassment. It may also be evidence in a broader pattern of discrimination that culminates in an adverse employment action like firing or failure to promote. Whether the conduct is blatant or subtle, you should discuss your situation with the trusted lawyers of Phillips & Associates. We’ve faced off against both large and small employers in an effort to secure best outcomes for workers of many different races and won millions. You should not need to tolerate racial discrimination in the workplace.

Who Can You Call About Your Racial Discrimination Experience?

Your employer is prohibited from taking adverse employment actions against you on the basis of race under federal, state, and local laws. Actions that may be forbidden include failure to hire, termination, failure to promote, demotions, harassment, and poor performance reviews based on your racial background. Unfortunately, many people have racist opinions or stereotype based on race. Intentionally discriminatory actions can result in reduced morale among employees. The individual worker who is dealing with discrimination may experience depression, insomnia, anxiety, along with negative financial consequences.

Race discrimination may involve disparate treatment when you are intentionally treated differently than your coworkers due to your race. For example, if your employer terminates you in the course of corporate restructuring and allows your Asian American identity to influence that decision, you may have a claim for disparate treatment discrimination. Similarly, if you are a Black proofreader and you are paid less than white proofreaders, our New York City lawyers a claim for race discrimination.

It can happen when a person of one race background is treated differently than workers of other races. However, our lawyers may be able to demonstrate disparate impact race discrimination in New York City, when an employer uses apparently race-neutral practices, but those practices inordinately impact people of a particular race group.

What About Race is Protected Under Federal, State, and Local Laws?

Federal law prohibits race discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law covers companies and businesses with at least 15 employees. The New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law also prohibit race discrimination in smaller businesses. These laws both tend to offer broader and more expansive protection than federal law does. For instance, while you would need to show racially motivated harassing behavior was severe or pervasive to establish a federal racial harassment claim, you need only show that it subjected you to inferior terms, conditions or privileges of employment based on your race to have a claim under state law. Employers can defend themselves on the grounds that the harassing conduct would not rise above the level of what a reasonable victim of discrimination with the same protected characteristic would consider trivial inconveniences or petty slights.

What Damages Can You Recover?

Every case is different, but generally, when our discrimination lawyers are able to establish race discrimination in New York City, we can recover compensatory damages, on behalf of our client. These are damages intended to make you “whole” rather than to punish the defendant for poor conduct. These could include compensation for mental anguish, emotional distress, and loss of income you would have otherwise received if you were terminated or not promoted. When an employer’s conduct is egregious, we may be able to recover punitive damages, which are typically awarded in proportion to the defendant’s size and wealth.

Consult a Seasoned Discrimination Lawyer

The New York City Human Rights Commission reported a 60% increase in overall reports of discrimination in 2016, including an increase in reports of discrimination based on race, national origin, and immigration status by 30%.  Discrimination hurts. It has dramatic economic consequences. And it runs afoul of city, state, and federal law. If you were subject to race discrimination in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, the Bronx, Nassau County, or Suffolk County, you may have grounds to sue. You should call the trusted New York City race discrimination lawyers of Phillips & Associates to discuss your situation. Call us at (866) 229-9441 or complete our online form. Our firm represents workers on a contingency fee basis. We offer free consultations.

Additional Information

New York City Lawyers Protecting Your Workplace Rights

It is unlawful for employers to discriminate against job applicants or employees based on their race in New York. Racial discrimination can be challenging to prove because employers are increasingly savvy about avoiding any admission that they made an employment decision based on an applicant or employee's race. However, retaining an experienced New York City racial discrimination attorney can make a difference to your ability to recover damages. Following are Frequently Asked Questions related to discrimination and harassment lawsuits based on race.

Which Laws Protect Me if a Company Fails or Refuses to Hire Me Based on My Race

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the federal law that protects job applicants and employees from race discrimination by employers. It covers employers that have at least 15 employees. Smaller companies are prohibited from engaging in racial discrimination while hiring under state and local laws such as the New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law. The latter is considered one of the most expansive anti-discrimination laws in the country.

Which Damages Can I Recover if I Am Fired Due to My Race?

You may be entitled to compensatory damages intended to reimburse you for your actual out-of-pocket expenses caused by the discrimination. These can include front pay, back pay, the costs incurred while looking for another job, therapy to address the psychological harm, and emotional distress damages. If the employer's actions were especially egregious, you may also be entitled to punitive damages. Damages are capped based on the size of your employer if you bring a lawsuit under Title VII.

Is It Legal for My Employer to Pay Me Less Because of My Race?

No. Under federal, state, and local laws, your employer is not permitted to pay you less than your coworkers because of your race. An employer is not supposed to make any employment decisions based on the race of an employee.

What Are My Remedies?

You can sue for damages if you are a victim of racial discrimination or harassment. It is best to consult an attorney about whether you should sue under Title VII or state or local laws. Although most people are aware of Title VII and the work of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to enforce it, in some cases, such as when a small business is the employer, there are more remedies available under the New York City Human Rights Law.

My Employer Is Providing Me With Fewer Benefits or No Benefits Due to My Race. What Can I Do?

If you believe that you are not being provided benefits comparable to those of people who have a similar or the same position at your workplace, you should try to gather information about what those benefits might be. You may want to keep a journal about any comments made by your supervisor or manager related to why you are being given different benefits from your coworkers. In some cases, there are legitimate job-related reasons that workers are given different benefits. For example, an employee who is temporary may receive different benefits from a permanent employee. Similarly, administrative assistants may not be given the same benefits as workers in leadership roles. You should retain an experienced employment discrimination attorney if you think that you are not receiving benefits because of your race, rather than a legitimate job-related reason.

I Have Not Been Promoted, and I Think That It is Because of My Race. What Can I Do?

You should ask your supervisor or manager about why you were not promoted. In some cases, a supervisor or manager may let slip a comment about why someone was not promoted that has racial connotations. In other cases, they are more careful. You should also look at who was promoted, and why. Was anybody else of your race promoted or put in a high-level position? It is important to consult an experienced attorney if you suspect that a lack of promotion is based on racial discrimination.

My Coworkers and I Are Classified by Race — is This Proper?

No. Your employer should not be classifying employees based on race. Sometimes it becomes apparent that an employer is covertly classifying employees by race because people of certain races are never considered for promotions or better work assignments. It would be illegal for your employer to exclude any worker from upper management roles due to race. It would also be illegal for an employer to routinely assign people who are black, Latino, or Asian to the worst jobs or to only work in geographic areas that have a heavy minority population.

Can My Employer Segregate Employees by Race?

No, it is illegal for your employer to segregate employees from other employees or from customers on the basis of race. For example, an employer is not permitted to refuse to assign an employee to a customer-facing position because he is black. Similarly, an employee may not group all black workers together, or all Latino workers together, when assigning work shifts.

Consult a Racial Discrimination Attorney in the New York City Area

Race discrimination can be challenging to prove because often an employer will be aware of the prohibition against it and mention other reasons for failing to give a promotion or terminating an employee. At Phillips & Associates, we may be able to help you recover damages if you were subject to workplace racial discrimination in New York City. We fight employment discrimination and harassment in Staten Island, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, as well as Nassau and Suffolk Counties, Westchester County, and New Jersey. Contact us at (866) 229-9441  or through our online form.

My Boss is Making Racist Comments. What Should I Do?

Same-Race Discrimination

Employment Lawyers Representing Residents of New York City

Whether you work in an office, a warehouse, or another environment, you hope that you will not be judged for your race, but rather for your job performance and credentials. It is unlawful for your employer, or prospective employer, to base its employment decisions on your race. Racial discrimination can be both emotionally and economically harmful. It can be perpetrated by someone of a different race than you, but it can also be committed by someone of your race. If you believe that you were subject to same-race discrimination, you should talk to the seasoned New York City race discrimination lawyers at Phillips & Associates.

Same-Race Discrimination

Racial discrimination includes any and all adverse treatment in the workplace that is based on a job applicant or employee’s race. The adverse treatment may involve failure to hire, failure to promote, demotion, disparate pay, and any other negative action related to the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. It can also include racial slurs, racist jokes, racist paraphernalia or images, or the use of racial stereotypes. So it can include the use of the n-word or the display of a swastika.

Racial discrimination in New York City can also occur on the basis of race-related features, such as hair texture, skin color, and facial features. There may be an overlap with colorism, which involves treating an employee adversely due to the color, tone, or shade of their skin. For example, if your supervisor is a light-skinned Black woman with straightened hair, and she believes that customers will not like your Afro and/or darker skin, and therefore she refuses to promote you to a customer-facing position, this might constitute same-race discrimination.

The New York City Human Rights Law

To sue for discrimination under the New York City Human Rights Law, you need to show that you were treated less well than other employees because of your race. You should show that you were treated differently from other employees in a way that was more than petty, trivial, or insubstantial.

A court is required to analyze your city law claim independently and separately from any federal and state law claims, and it must construe the city law broadly in favor of you as a plaintiff asserting discrimination, to the extent that it is reasonably possible to do so. One form of race discrimination is hostile work environment harassment, which may take the form of racist symbols, memes, pranks, jokes, or negative commentary. Again, the harassment must be more than a petty slight or trivial incident. For instance, if both you and your supervisor are Black, and he puts a noose on your desk and later tries to say that it was a joke, you may still have a claim for racial harassment under the city law, even though both the supervisor and you are Black.

Sometimes a racially discriminatory environment may be created by the way in which work is assigned. Allegations of a heavier workload can support a hostile work environment claim if you were subjected to disproportionately burdensome work assignments compared to your white counterparts. For example, if you are Asian American, and your supervisor is also Asian American, and he loads you with undesirable assignments that you could not get done in the requisite time frame, but he assigns better and less onerous work to white employees who are in the same position as you, this could support a racial discrimination claim.

State and Federal Laws on Same-Race Discrimination

In most cases, the New York City Human Rights Law provides the greatest protection against racial discrimination. However, there may be circumstances in which it is more favorable to pursue a claim of same-race discrimination under federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the New York State Human Rights Law. To present a prima facie case for racial discrimination under federal or state law, your lawyer will need to prove that you belong to a protected class, you were qualified for your job, you sustained an adverse employment action, and the adverse employment action happened under circumstances that give rise to an inference of discriminatory intent. To establish a same-race hostile work environment claim under federal law, you will need to show that the harassing behavior was inflicted due to your race and was so severe or so pervasive that it generated a hostile work environment. State law defines harassment similarly to the definition under city law which helps employees who work outside of the five boroughs

Consult an Experienced Race Discrimination Attorney in New York City

If you have experienced same-race discrimination in your workplace, you should call Phillips & Associates. Our attorneys represent workers who have faced discrimination in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island, as well as Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Call us at (866) 229-9441 or complete our online form.

Discrimination Lawyer Success

  • $1.8 Million Race Discrimination

    Jesse S. Weinstein and Gregory W. Kirschenbaum successfully obtained a $1,800,000 unanimous jury verdict in the Southern District of New York on behalf of Plaintiff, John Pardovani. The verdict consisted of $800,000 in compensatory damages and $1,000,000 in punitive damages.

  • $280 Thousand Race Discrimination

    In a race discrimination case, a federal jury in New York found that use of the N-word in the workplace is never acceptable, even when used between black coworkers.

  • $2.2 Million Race Discrimination & Retaliation

    Greg Kirschenbaum was part of the trial team that won a $2.2 million verdict in a race discrimination and retaliation case in 2015. Rosas v. Balter Sales, et al.

  • $1.4 Million Religious & Sexual Orientation Discrimination

    Bryan Arce was part of the trial team that won a $1.4 million-dollar verdict in a religious and sexual orientation discrimination case brought by a Chef, which was the highest employment law verdict in 2012.