Experienced NJ Employment Discrimination Lawyers Protect You against Race Discrimination
Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, both at home and in the workplace. Although both federal and state laws prohibit racial discrimination in the workplace, it still exists. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported more than 33,000 race discrimination claims in 2012.
You work hard at your job. You do not deserve to be passed over for a promotion because of your race. If you have been victimized by race discrimination in New Jersey, protect your legal rights by speaking with an experienced employment discrimination lawyer.
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NJ State and Federal Discrimination Laws Prohibit Race Discrimination in the Workplace
Race discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee differently than others because of the employee’s race. Race discrimination can also occur when an employer treats an applicant or employee unfavorably because of personal characteristics that are commonly associated with a particular race. These characteristics can include hairstyle, hair texture, skin color, manner of speech, facial features, and cultural dress.
Color discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee differently because of the employee’s skin color complexion, pigmentation, shade, or tone. Race and color do not always overlap. Intra-race color discrimination occurs when an employer or supervisor discriminates against a person of the same race because the employee has a darker or lighter skin tone.
Under federal law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids racial discrimination in any aspect of employment. An employer cannot treat an employee differently based on the employee’s race or ethnicity.
Under state employment law, NJ’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD) makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, or ancestry. Employers also cannot discriminate based gender, sexual orientation or religion.
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Both federal and state laws prohibit differential treatment on the basis of race. The federal and state statutes declare that race cannot be a factor in decisions about:
- Hiring: An employer cannot refuse to hire you because of your race.
- Firing: An employer cannot discharge you because of your race. This applies to both layoffs during downsizing and discharges for cause. This also applies to a constructive discharge, which occurs when an employer makes work conditions so intolerable for you that you have no choice but to leave.
- Promotions and demotions: An employer may not use race as a reason to prevent you from applying for or getting a promotion to a higher position. Employers also may not write poor performance reviews because of race. Additionally, transfers and disciplinary actions cannot be based on race.
- Compensation and benefits: An employer may not discriminate based on race in making decisions about employee pay levels or benefits.
- Terms, conditions, or privileges of employment: Your employer can never treat you less favorably than other employees in the terms or conditions of your job. Job assignments and training opportunities cannot be handed out on the basis of race.
Additionally, state and federal laws prohibit hostile work environment discrimination on the basis of race. An employer cannot harass an employee because of his or her race. Beyond that, an employer may not permit others to harass an employee because of race.
Both federal and state laws prohibit retaliation against an employee who files a good faith complaint about discrimination or harassment based on race.Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes anti-retaliation provisions that protect employees against employer retaliation for reporting race discrimination.
If your employer fires you or otherwise retaliates against you for complaining of race discrimination, you may have a separate retaliation claim against your employer.
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Speak with an Employment Discrimination Attorney Today; Protect Yourself against Race Discrimination in New Jersey
If you feel that you are being victimized by racial discrimination in the workplace, there are steps you can take to protect your rights:
- Keep a journal: Record the details of any incident or incidents that you believe may constitute racial discrimination. Write down everything. You can bet that your employer will be writing everything down in a file before terminating you.
- Gather relevant documents: Emails, text messages, and photographs may bolster your claim of race discrimination.
- Report the harassment to a supervisor: Put a complaint in writing and give it to your supervisor or human resources. Keep a copy of this complaint.
- Speak with an experienced racial discrimination lawyer: A lawyer can assess your case and advise you on the next step.
Employment discrimination is a complicated area of law that may require filing complaints with different agencies and have your case heard in different forums. A formal complaint can be filed with the NJ Division on Civil Rights, leading to a hearing in the NJ Office of Administrative Law. Or you may wish to file a complaint and have the case heard in New Jersey Superior Court. Regardless of the forum and remedy you choose, you are going to want an experienced employment discrimination attorney on your side.
Talk to a Skilled Anti-Discrimination Lawyer for Free
The law firm of Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A., is a proven advocate for workers in all types of employment discrimination litigation, including race discrimination, sex discrimination, age discrimination, and religious discrimination. Our firm has served clients in Middlesex, Monmouth, and Ocean counties since 1975, earning more than $400 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Fill out our contact form or call us today. We have offices conveniently located in Brick Township, Edison Township, and Freehold Township, so it is easy and convenient to schedule an appointment.