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Phillips & Associates Featured on December 2020 Cover of Lawyer Monthly

Tackling Race Discrimination

Race discrimination in the workplace can be both painful and economically damaging. While race discrimination may consist of overtly racist actions, it may also be subtle, taking the form of microaggressions. Despite worldwide protests against police violence in 2020 and many companies’ pledges to repair their workplace policies regarding race discrimination, there are many employers who have yet to improve their policies and practices. Recently, Phillips & Associates made the cover of Lawyer Monthly, discussing this issue and the steps that employers and employees should take in response to race discrimination. If you believe that you were subject to race discrimination, you should discuss your case with our experienced New York City race discrimination lawyers.

The Lawyer Monthly Cover

The cover story of Lawyer Monthly was “Tackling Race Discrimination In Times of Unrest.” Marjorie Mesidor, a partner at Phillips & Associates, wrote the feature. Ms. Mesidor explained that many employees feel afraid to complain about discrimination. It is normal to worry that you will face retaliation for bringing a complaint of race discrimination, but the law does provide protection.

The article explains what an effective race discrimination policy looks like. Employers should make sure that they communicate where their employees stand, they bolster their position with a reporting process that is easy and transparent, they provide a transparent and rapid investigation, and they follow up with decisive actions irrespective of the outcome. However, it is not enough to have an anti-discrimination policy in place. This policy needs to be backed up with resources. Companies need to emphasize inclusiveness and diversity in their actions.

Race Discrimination

The Lawyer Monthly cover story explained that employers should have multiple structures in place to allow employees to easily make a complaint of race discrimination. If you complain, your employer should investigate promptly. The cover story also explained that the employer’s investigation should be transparent and timely. Ideally, it should be conducted by an independent investigator. If your employer does not investigate, or if you are concerned that they are not responding appropriately to your complaint, you may be able to pursue a lawsuit under federal, state, or local laws.

Race discrimination is prohibited by Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law. It occurs whenever an employer takes an adverse employment action against an employee due to his or her race. Adverse employment actions may be taken in connection with recruitment, job advertisements, hiring, promotion, pay, training, or termination. For example, if you were not promoted because your manager believes that Black people are not leaders, you may have a claim for race discrimination.

Federal, state, and local anti-discrimination laws prohibit retaliation. Your employer should not terminate you or take an adverse action against you because you engaged in the protected activity of making a good-faith complaint about race discrimination or harassment. However, there are differences among the federal, state, and local laws, making it important to consult with a race discrimination law firm in New York City.

Title VII prohibits race discrimination, but it caps damages based on the size of the employer at issue. It is sometimes difficult under Title VII to show that racial harassment has changed the conditions of employment sufficiently. Meanwhile, the New York City Human Rights Law is widely considered one of the most progressive laws in the country when it comes to race discrimination. Under the city law, you can show discriminatory harassment if you can prove that you were treated less well than other employees because of your membership in a protected category. The New York State Human Rights Law has made recent changes that make it more progressive and similar to the city law. It has lowered the standard for plaintiffs to prove illegal harassment.

Racial Harassment

Racial harassment is one form of race discrimination. The Lawyer Monthly feature stressed how important it is for employers to take racial harassment seriously. It is critical, for example, to respond swiftly to any harassment involving a noose. Because of the historical significance of nooses to Black people, incidents involving nooses can be intensely painful and as frightening as a burning cross. Employers should consider suspending an employee who uses a noose in the workplace.

Retain a Seasoned New York City Attorney

If you believe that you were subject to discrimination because of your race, you should retain a knowledgeable attorney at our New York City race discrimination firm. Our attorneys have substantial experience representing workers who have faced workplace racial discrimination. We represent people in New York City and Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties. Call us at (833) 529-3476 or complete our online form.

What Our Clients Say?
"Phillips & Associates did a wonderful job. I would recommend Brittany Stevens." Angel
"Employment dispute I had a dispute with my former employer, Jesse Weinstein was patient and thorough with my case. He covered every angle and was able to help me with my dispute. I would recommend Jesse Weinstein and Phillips and Associates in the future to anyone." Margaret
"Hands down the best law firm for labor disputes in NYC. Being in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years I can say that this law firm is the number one choice for workers in the restaurant business that need to sue their company for wrongful termination. A special compliment to my lawyer Brittany Stevens. An amazing person and well prepared experienced lawyer. She was professional and empathetic to my case and worked in a time appropriate manner. She never miss a phone call at any hour of the day. Brittany and her team helped me with what I needed, when I needed it. I want to thank them all (especially Brittany), for a job well done." Massimo
"Jesse Weinstein handled my discrimination case. He was extremely patient and understanding throughout the process and remained professional and consistent even when I could not. I really felt like he had my back and I didn't have to worry. His expertise, combined with the experience of the Firm, resulted in the best possible outcome of my case. Although I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone, things do and always will happen and I would highly recommend Jesse and this Firm to anyone facing discrimination or other workplace issues." Karen
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