NEW JERSEY RACE DISCRIMINATION LAWYER
New Jersey Race Discrimination Lawyers
No matter what angle we approach the modern age from, it is clear that racism still exists. 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 law which specifically prohibits race-based discrimination is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It specifically protects employees and applicants for jobs from discrimination based on their race, color, religion, and more. It covers the full spectrum of possible areas for discrimination in a working environment. These areas include recruitment, hiring, firing, and all other decisions concerning employment. Additionally, the Civil Rights Act of 1991 strengthened the existing civil rights laws. Similar, and in many regards stronger and better, protections against race discrimination are provided by the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.
Does Race Discrimination Need To Be Intentional?
Not necessarily. Many different forms of racial discrimination exist in the workplace. These forms include both intentional discrimination and policy-based discrimination. We explore below many of the forms we have seen over the years at Schall & Barasch.
- Intentional Discrimination: This occurs when any employment decision (hiring, firing, promotions, etc.) is made on the basis of someone’s race. While it sometimes involves animosity toward one race, it can also involve conscious or unconscious stereotypes about traits, abilities, or performances of racial groups.
- Unintentional (Policy-Based) Discrimination: Even policies believed by many to be neutral are discriminatory. Certain practices or policies might end up excluding racial groups in much larger percentages than others. If no business necessity exists for that practice, or if the need could be met in a less negatively impactful way, the practice is considered unlawful.
How Can You Prove Race Discrimination in the Workplace?
Many ways exist in which we prove racial discrimination in the workplace. Any good race discrimination lawyer will explore all possible avenues for finding evidence that supports your case. Below, we list some of the ways in which we look for evidence of race discrimination.
- Direct Evidence: While rare, direct evidence is something that clearly proves a fact. If possible, you want as much of this type of evidence as possible, as it greatly strengthens your case. However, companies and organizations go to great lengths to hide or destroy this evidence. They’re aware that, if found, that evidence might lead to a discrimination lawsuit against them.
- An example: The executive of a company sends out an email advising their recruiters to only hire employees of a certain race or group of people. This email is direct evidence of racial discrimination.
- Indirect (Circumstantial) Evidence: This type of evidence does not directly prove the fact of racial discrimination. However, it serves as evidence of other facts which point to racial discrimination in the workplace.
An example: You apply for a promotion at your workplace, but you don’t get it. A coworker of another race gets the promotion. You suspect that your employer did not promote you because of your race, so you take them to court. Your employer claims that their reasoning for not promoting you was your poor work performance. However, you have performance reviews which negate this claim, and reveal the truth behind their refusal to promote you.
What Should You Do if You Are Facing a Hostile Workplace?
To begin with, for a court to find that you’ve been subjected to a hostile work environment, you must show the following: the complained-of conduct (1) would not have occurred but for the employee's race; and it was (2) severe or pervasive enough to make a (3) reasonable person believe that (4) the conditions of employment are altered and the working environment is hostile or abusive.
Below, we outline the steps to take if you face a hostile work environment:.
- Address the issue directly. This is a difficult step to take, but a necessary one. 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 it 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. Then, approach your Human Resources department or your supervisor. Advise them of the situation and ask for help.
- Take the issue to management. If necessary, elevate the situation. Someone in authority must be made aware of the situation. However, remain calm and professional. Give them specific examples of the harassment you faced.
- Hire a race discrimination lawyer. The sooner you speak with a race discrimination lawyer, the sooner you have legal backing for your case. Without additional help from a trained professional, many of these cases never improve. Some even worsen over time. Attorneys are there to help you, and to view your case with an unbiased, well-trained eye.
Do I Need a Race Discrimination Lawyer?
Absolutely. No matter how large or small you think your case may be, discrimination is not something to take lightly. In some cases, you might not even know for sure until you consult with a qualified race discrimination lawyer. 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 someone with the ability and knowledge to go through those details to gather evidence and support for your case.
Contact a New Jersey Discrimination Lawyer Today
Richard Schall agues against forced arbitration before the New Jersey Supreme Court