Racial discrimination in the workplace is illegal. This includes discrimination against people of mixed heritage, discrimination because someone is married to a person of a particular ethnic or racial background, and discrimination that may involve issues of gender or religious freedom as well as race. This discrimination can take many forms. Jokes based on racial groups, stereotyping of individuals based on their ethnic backgrounds, derogatory names, as well as racial epithets can all be evidence of discrimination. Even superficially positive remarks, like “Mexicans are hard workers” or “Jews are good at managing money” tend to show discrimination at work. Sometimes the conduct is blatant, and sometimes it is more subtle, but whenever racial discrimination occurs in the workplace, you should contact the New York racial discrimination attorneys at Phillips & Associates.WHAT CONSTITUTES RACIAL DISCRIMINATION?
Many people in our society hold racist views, or ignorantly group and label people based on racial background – even in the melting pot that is New York City. While these attitudes can be expressed in many different ways, often they are present at the workplace. Discriminatory attitudes can have very tangible effects in the workplace, leading to refusals to hire, firings, passing over employees for promotion, poor performance reviews, and many other negative impacts on a person’s livelihood. Society’s problems with race discrimination in the workplace are well-documented, and while there may have been some measure of improvement since the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, there is still a long way to go.NEW YORK AND FEDERAL LAW PROTECT EMPLOYEES AGAINST RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
Discrimination cases are often based on what is called disparate treatment, under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act. Disparate treatment simply means that individuals of one racial background are treated differently than others. This can happen on an individual basis, or an entire group may be subject to a “pattern or practice” of this sort of treatment. Occasionally, suits may also be brought based upon employer practices that have a disparate impact on a racial group – that is, the practices appear race-neutral, but inordinately affect people in one racial group. In other situations, an employee can bring suit because of harassment based on race, or because a hostile work environment exists. Racial discrimination can involve all types of employers and employees, including public entities, blue collar workers, and those with office jobs.
Title VII applies only to employers with 15 employees or more, and the amount of monetary damages a successful plaintiff can win depends on the size of the employer. Because of the malicious nature of racial discrimination, sometimes punitive damages are awarded. Title VII also provides protections against retaliation: if an employer takes adverse action against an employee because the employee opposes a discriminatory practice, the employer is subject to additional claims under federal law. New York State and New York City human rights laws provide additional protections to employees, and apply to employers with as few as four employees.PHILLIPS & ASSOCIATES: EXPERIENCED NEW YORK RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ATTORNEYS
You should not have to tolerate racial discrimination in any form, and certainly not at your place of work. Strong laws are in place that prohibit this type of conduct. Using these laws to protect your rights often requires an experienced New York racial discrimination attorney. At Phillips & Associates we have successfully handled many racial discrimination cases throughout New York City and its five boroughs. We understand how difficult it is to bring a claim against your employer, and we will thoroughly research your potential claims, advise you of your options and the likely consequences, and provide aggressive representation of your interests during pre-trial litigation and at trial. Call our office today for a free, confidential consultation at (212) 248-7431.
45 Broadway, Suite 620,
New York NY, 10006