Phillips & Associates

Philadelphia Race Discrimination

Skilled Employment Attorneys Assisting Workers in Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s population is not only fast-growing but also diverse. As of 2015, about 42% of the residents of Philadelphia were African-American. Around 13% were Hispanic or Latino. It is illegal for your employer to discriminate against you based on your race. Even though it is illegal, race discrimination does still occur on the job If you believe that you have been subjected to race discrimination, it is important to consult an experienced employment litigator. At Phillips & Associates, our Philadelphia race discrimination lawyers may be able to help you recover damages.

Forms of Race Discrimination

Workplace race discrimination is forbidden in Pennsylvania under Section 1981, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, and the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance. Employers are not allowed to treat employees differently based on actual or perceived race, color, or ethnicity.

Under Title VII, employers cannot make decisions based on race with regard to such matters as hiring, firing, promotions, pay, raises, and other terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. For example, it may be illegal race discrimination under Title VII if you were passed over for a raise when less productive or qualified people of another race got raises for doing the same work. Similarly, it would likely be illegal race discrimination under Title VII if you are terminated because customers were not comfortable being around a Black person or a Muslim person. In another example, it would likely be race discrimination if you were denied opportunities like training if you were qualified and next in line, but less senior and less qualified people were given the training instead. Title VII only applies to employers that have a minimum of 15 employees. A race discrimination attorney can advise Philadelphia employees on whether federal or state law would serve as a better basis for a claim.

Racial Harassment

Racial harassment is also a form of race discrimination under Title VII. Racial harassment can include offensive jokes, slurs, racist comments, and racist images, and it is actionable if it creates a hostile work environment. A hostile work environment is one in which the terms and conditions have been altered by the harassment, such that a reasonable person would find the work environment abusive or hostile, and the claimant also subjectively finds the work environment to be abusive or hostile.

State Law

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) is the state law that prohibits race discrimination. The agency that handles the administration of claims is the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC). It may be appropriate to file a claim under the state law if your employer has between 4 and 14 employees. There are some important differences between Title VII and the PHRA, so it is essential to consult an experienced Philadelphia race discrimination attorney about which agency might better handle your claim. For example, you cannot recover punitive damages under the state law. On the other hand, compensatory damages are not restricted under the PHRC, as they are under Title VII. If your claim is properly resolved by the agency, you might not need to file a lawsuit, but if it is not, you may want to pursue your claim in court. You would need to exhaust your administrative remedies under Title VII or the PHRA before suing in court.

City Law

The Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance is the local law forbidding race discrimination. Like Title VII, it also protects against discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived race. The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations enforces this ordinance. It has the power to issue orders (subject to judicial review) requiring an employer that engaged in race discrimination to take affirmative steps to fix any harm that was caused. Remedies may include injunctive relief, compensatory damages, punitive damages of up to $2,000 per violation, back pay, and more. You can also pursue your claim for race discrimination in court.

Get Advice from a Race Discrimination Lawyer in Philadelphia

If you have experienced discrimination based on your race or ethnicity, you should consult the employment litigators at Phillips & Associates. You can call us at (215) 315-7694 or complete our online form for a free consultation.

1635 Market St #1600A
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 315-7694
Fax: (212) 901-2107

Client Reviews
I was a client with this law firm. I can't stress enough how awesome and professional the people are here. Silvia & Erica made me feel so comfortable and welcome. I never had to guess anything. Anytime I call, emailed, or even texted. They were always there. If not they would get back to me as soon as possible. My case was not an easy situation for me but I tell you these guys made it seem like it was. I'm so glad that I use Phillip & Phillip. I thank you guys from the bottom of my heart. I am so grateful to have met such awesome, honest, and caring people. Thank you again. Djuana
I highly recommend Parisis (Gerry) Fillippatos with Phillips & Associates to represent you for employment related matters. He and his team were professional, attentive to every detail and brilliant at identifying the legal grounds to win the case. Parisis's communication and delivery were highly articulate and precise. He is personable and makes you feel comfortable in the maze of legal jargon. Finally, his confidence, perseverance and masterful negotiation skills deliver the win. Anonymous
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They were articulate, compassionate, persistent, and they wrote superbly. I felt as if they were truly in my corner, and I have recommended them to others. Susan
Mr. Phillips' law firm is dedicated to providing excellent service. Your case is explained step by step. All questions and concerns are addressed promptly and accurately. I am extremely satisfied and highly recommend Mr. Phillips. Ingrit