According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), race discrimination involves treating an employee or a job applicant unfavorably because they are of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race, such as skin color or hair texture. Race discrimination violates both federal and New Jersey law. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits racial discrimination. Under state law, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) protects New Jersey employees from racial discrimination. However, the NJLAD provides broader protection for New Jersey employees. For instance, whereas federal law applies to employers with at least fifteen employees, the NJLAD applies even to employers with fewer than 15 employers.
Whether you are Asian, African-American, Native American, Caucasian, or a member of another race, you should not have to experience racism at work or when looking for a job. An employer should not let your race unfairly become a factor when deciding who to hire, fire, promote, or give another employment benefit. If you are an employee or job applicant who has fallen victim to racial discrimination, you should consult a race discrimination lawyer to discuss your rights and legal options.
Racial harassment is a form of racial discrimination. Even though the law does not prohibit things such as offhand comments or simple teasing, such things can be considered unlawful when they are so frequent, they create a hostile working environment. To prove a hostile work environment claim, you need to show that the defendant’s conduct;
- would not have occurred if it were not for your race,
- was so frequent or severe to make a reasonable person of the same race believe that the employment conditions had been changed, and the work environment was hostile, intimidating, or abusive.
Harassment is also illegal when it results in an adverse employment action, such as an employee losing their job.
Suppose a supervisor racially harassed you. What happens in such a case? The law is quite clear that when an employee is racially harassed by an employer, the employer can be held liable. In fact, an employer can be held responsible even for damages caused by the unlawful harassment committed by non-supervisory employees, and, in some cases, third parties. If an employer received notice that the harassment was happening, had control over the harasser, and failed to do anything to stop the harassment, they could be held liable.
Remedies for Racial Discrimination
After filing a racial discrimination claim, several things could happen. For example, your employer could be held liable for back pay and/or front pay. If you were denied a job because of your race, the employer might be required to hire you if you qualify for the job. Also, if you were fired because of your race, the employer might be required to reinstate you. An employer can also be liable for compensatory damages under the NJLAD. Lastly, depending on your case, it may be possible for you to recover punitive damages after filing a racial discrimination claim.
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If you have experienced race discrimination in employment, do not hesitate to contact The Trabosh Law Firm. We are experienced at holding employers accountable for their racist conduct and recovering the damages you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.