Phillips & Associates

Westchester County Race Discrimination

Westchester County Lawyers Helping Victims of Workplace Misconduct

Westchester County is 57% white. The African-American population is 15.6% of the population, while the Native American and Pacific Islander population makes up 0.5%, and the Asian population makes up 5.4%. Other races make up 7.6%. Race discrimination happens in the workplace if an employer makes employment decisions based on your race, rather than how well you do your job or your merit. This is called disparate treatment. Moreover, race discrimination can also occur when an employer has facially neutral policies that wind up having a disparate impact on certain employees due to their race. If you believe that you have been harmed by race discrimination in Westchester County, you should contact the Westchester County race discrimination lawyers at Phillips & Associates. We are dedicated to fighting for workers' rights.

Race Discrimination Under State and Federal Laws

Both the New York State Human Rights Law and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibit race discrimination. The state law applies to companies with at least four employees, while Title VII only applies to those with at least 15 employees.

Federal and state case law may allow for different forms of relief for race or color discrimination, and different procedures need to be followed. For example, to sue for race discrimination under Title VII, you need to file a timely charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is the agency that is tasked with enforcing Title VII. With the New York State Human Rights Law, you do not need to take administrative steps first, but as with Title VII, there are time limits. You should consult a race discrimination attorney in Westchester County about your situation as soon as possible after you realize that you have been subjected to race discrimination.

Common Forms of Race Discrimination

Race discrimination is closely related to color discrimination. It occurs if an employer makes an adverse employment decision in connection with an employee or job applicant due to their race, or due to racial characteristics. It can also occur if a job applicant or employee faces a negative employment decision due to their perceived race, or the race of a spouse. Employment decisions in connection with which race discrimination could occur include refusal to hire, termination, layoffs, failure to provide bonuses, or failure to promote.

Racial harassment is a form of race discrimination. When coworkers, supervisors, customers, or clients create a hostile work environment for an employee due to their race, there may be a basis to sue for damages under state or federal laws. Harassment could take the form of derogatory remarks, racist cartoons, gestures, images, racial slurs, or physical violence. For example, if you are black and called the n-word by your supervisor, or you find a noose on your desk, this may create an actionable hostile work environment under state or federal laws. Our Westchester County race discrimination attorneys can advise you on the appropriate legal action.

You should report racial harassment according to the grievance procedures that are specified in your employment handbook. Employers are supposed to take corrective steps if an employee is being harassed by coworkers or supervisors. While a single trivial incident is not actionable, many such incidents may, over time, create a hostile work environment. However, an employer needs to know or have reason to know about the racial harassment to be held accountable for failing to correct the situation.

Most race discrimination lawsuits are based on disparate treatment or intentional mistreatment. However, employers' seemingly neutral policies can have different impacts on employees based on race. If they are not justified by business necessity, they may give rise to a disparate impact race discrimination lawsuit.

Remedies for Race Discrimination

The damages that you may be able to recover depend on the situation and the law under which you are seeking relief. They may include back pay, reinstatement or front pay, and compensatory damages. If the discrimination is particularly egregious, it may be possible to recover punitive damages under Title VII, but these damages are not available under state law.

Discuss Your Case with a Race Discrimination Lawyer in Westchester County

At Phillips & Associates, our experienced trial attorneys help clients who have experienced race discrimination in Westchester County. If you believe that you have been affected by race discrimination, contact us at (212) 248-7431 or through our online form for a free consultation. We represent clients in Yonkers, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, and White Plains.

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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
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