Race Discrimination Attorney

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New Jersey Race Discrimination Attorney

Protecting Against Race Discrimination in the Workplace

Every day, employers deny people jobs or promotions or terminate employees because of their race or the color of their skin. Millions of Americans face this very problem on a regular basis. That’s why we’re here to represent you and fight for your rights.

What Is Racial Discrimination?

Race discrimination occurs when someone subjects another person or group of people to unequal treatment because of their race. The federal laws that prohibit race-based discrimination are Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866. Similar, and in many regards stronger and better, protections against race discrimination are provided by the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.

Both federal and state laws specifically protect employees and applicants for jobs from discrimination based on their race or color. The laws cover the full spectrum of possible areas for discrimination in a working environment, including recruitment, hiring, firing, and all other decisions concerning employment.

Does Race Discrimination Need to Be Intentional?

At least in terms of how we usually think of the term “intentional,” the short answer to that question is “No.”  In order to prove race discrimination, we do not need to show that your employer deliberately intended to discriminate against you on account of your race.  Instead, the law judges an employer’s actions by the effect it has on a person of color: if the effect of the employer’s conduct action is to treat a person of color differently than a similarly situated white employee, that is considered race discrimination.

How Can You Prove Race Discrimination in the Workplace?

Some of the ways in which we look for evidence of race discrimination are:

  • Direct Evidence: We sometimes refer to direct evidence as “smoking gun” evidence. Examples can include documents or statements (e.g., use of a derogatory slur) clearly showing that the employer acted against you on account of your race.  Because most employers have “cleaned up their acts,” it will be a rare case where direct evidence of discrimination will be found.  But where such evidence exists, it constitutes powerful evidence of discrimination. Because of the power of such evidence, ever, companies and organizations will go to great lengths to hide or destroy this evidence as they are aware that, if found, direct evidence might likely lead to their losing a discrimination lawsuit brought against them.
  • Indirect (Circumstantial) Evidence: Most often, we prove race discrimination through the use of what is called “indirect evidence.”  Examples of indirect evidence often include an employer’s use of a “double standard:” disciplining black employees for conduct or performance issues that are overlooked when committed by white employees.
  • Disparate Treatment Discrimination: Even policies or practices that may seem neutral on their face are discriminatory if the impact of those policies or practices can be shown to be discriminatory. If no business necessity exists for that policy or practice at issue, or if the need could be met in a less negatively impactful way, the policy or practice is considered unlawful because of its “disparate impact” on a minority group.

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For comprehensive guidance and representation, reach out to our New Jersey race discrimination lawyer by filling out our online contact form today.

Racial Harassment and What Should You Do If You Are Facing a Hostile Environment

If the environment in which you work has become polluted with racial comments or harassment, you will have a claim against your employer for either creating or allowing a hostile work environment. In order for a court to find that you’ve been subjected to a hostile work environment, you must show the complained-of conduct:

  • would not have occurred but for your race.
  • was severe or pervasive enough to make a reasonable person believe that the conditions of employment are altered, and the working environment is hostile or abusive.

The steps to take if you face a hostile work environment include:

  • Address the issue directly: This is a difficult step to take, but it may help resolve the situation. Do not ignore the offense. Speak with those who wronged you, and be direct. Let them know that you do not tolerate their hostile behavior, and that you view their conduct as harassment.
  • Document what happens: Especially if the hostile situation is ongoing, write everything down as soon as possible. Relying on memory is not a good idea. Note: unless you are certain that what you will capture on tape will be “smoking gun” evidence of harassment, we generally advise against tape-recording conversations. In most cases, when a client of ours has tape-recorded conversations, we have not found them helpful. In addition, many companies have policies that prohibit tape-recording.
  • Take the issue to Human Resources or other management personnel:: This is a critical step in the process. In order for you to have a case, it is almost always essential that you have put your company on notice that you believe you have been subject to harassment on account of your race. Give them specific examples of the harassment you faced. And you need to come right out and make clear that you believe the harassment has occurred on account of your race.
  • Hire an experienced employment discrimination lawyer: An experienced employment discrimination lawyer can guide you through the steps you should be taking to address the harassment you are facing or have faced.

Do I Need an Employment Discrimination Lawyer?

No matter how large or small you think your case may be, discrimination is not something to take lightly. Researching independently is a great start, but it will only get you so far. Oftentimes, many details and subtleties are involved in these cases. For that reason, you’ll want to consult with an experienced employment discrimination lawyer with the ability and knowledge to go through those details to gather evidence and support for your case.

Contact a New Jersey Employment Discrimination Lawyer Today

If you have experienced race discrimination in the workplace, you need a qualified employment discrimination attorney.

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To schedule a consultation with us, please fill out our online intake form today.

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Schall & Barasch New Jersey Employment Lawyers

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