Our New Jersey Race Discrimination lawyers handle race discrimination cases throughout NJ. There are three steps to establish a claim of racial discrimination in New Jersey. First, you must demonstrate a prima facie (Latin for at first sight) case. Second, the employer will articulate a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for its action (demotion, suspension, termination, demotion). Third, you are required to demonstrate the reason offered by your employer was a mere “pretext” and that the true reason for the employer’s action was unlawful racial discrimination because you are african american, black, asian, etc. It is then up to a jury to determine whether they believe the employer’s stated reason for its action was not the true reason for its actions.
1. Prima Facie Case of Race Discrimination – Demotion/Suspension/Termination
You must first establish that you are a member of a protected class, i.e. an African American, black, Asian, Hispanic, Caucasian, white or other protected characteristic. The next step is for you to demonstrate that you performed your job which met your employer’s legitimate expectations. Notwithstanding the fact that you met your employer’s legitimate expectations, you were fired, demoted, suspended or terminated. The next step is to demonstrate that you were later replaced by another race or that you were treated differently than members of another race, or that the circumstances surrounding your demotion, suspension or termination give rise to an inference that you were terminated based on your race.
2. Employer’s Reason That Not Based On Race
This element is met very easily by your employer by providing a reason for your demotion, suspension or termination. Typcially the employer will point to various alleged performance issues, skills, or state that you were unable to perform your job.
3. Pretext for Race Discrimination
You may demonstrate that your employer’s proffered reason for demoting, suspending or terminating you is a mere “pretext” by showing that your race was more likely than not the motivating factor of the employer. You can also demonstrate this by providing indirect evidence that your employer’s stated reason is not reliable or believable.
If you are able to meet all of the elements mentioned above, you may succeed on a claim of race discrimination. Please contact our NJ Race Discrimination Lawyers to discuss your possible race discrimination case.