The social unrest that recently swept the nation reminds us that racism remains a pervasive problem, even here in New Jersey. But some forms of racial discrimination may be hard to identify, including discrimination in the workplace. If you believe you have been treated unfairly by an employer because of your race, turn to Castronovo & McKinney, LLC.
Our experienced employment discrimination attorneys will provide you with powerful representation when you need it most and work to protect your employment rights. Although federal and state laws prohibit employers from making employment decisions based on race or any other protected characteristic, racial discrimination in the workplace continues to rear its ugly head.
The best way to fight back is to have our capable legal team at your side. Well-versed in applicable anti-discrimination laws, we know how to protect your rights in both administrative and court proceedings. If you have been denied an employment opportunity, raise, or promotion or subjected to an adverse employment action (firing, demotion) based on your race, color, or national origin, you may have a legal basis for a valid racial discrimination claim.
Let us help protect your rights and explore all your legal remedies. At Castronovo & McKinney, we believe that no one should tolerate racial discrimination in the workplace. Contact our Morristown or Manhattan office today so we can start working on your claim.
Identifying Racial Discrimination in New Jersey Workplaces
Racial discrimination comes in many forms, some subtle, others more obvious, such as:
- Refusing to hire a candidate because of his or her race or ethnicity
- Offering lower rates of pay or inferior terms of employment based on race
- Denying certain employees training and promotional opportunities due to their race
- Being subjected to racial slurs, offensive jokes, comments, or displays by supervisors, coworkers, vendors, and customers
Regardless, employers cannot make employment decisions or take adverse employment actions against an employee based race as well as ethnicity and national origin. Above all, our firm is committed to fighting racial discrimination in all its forms.
Racial Discrimination in the Workplace Is Illegal in New Jersey
Employment discrimination based on race is a violation of both federal and state laws. First, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) makes it illegal to discriminate based on race, ethnicity, national origin, and other protected characteristics.
It is important to note that Title VII covers employers with 15 or more employees and that it is necessary to file a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), before filing a lawsuit. Our attorneys are highly experienced in handling administrative complaints before the EEOC and have successfully negotiated settlements on behalf of our clients.
At the same time, we work to help victims of racial discrimination enforce their rights under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), which applies to all employers in the state. In short, LAD prohibits employers from basing decisions on race and provides aggrieved employees with powerful legal recourse.
Unlike Title VII, it is not necessary to file a racial discrimination complaint with the state Division of Civil Rights before filing a lawsuit. While we prefer to reach negotiated settlements to employment-related disputes, we are well-prepared to litigate in state court to achieve the best possible outcome. Trust our experienced racial discrimination attorneys to assess all the factors in your case and take the best course of action.
Types of Racial Discrimination in New Jersey
Generally, there are two forms of employment discrimination — disparate treatment and disparate impact:
Disparate Treatment Discrimination
Disparate treatment occurs when an employee is treated less favorably than others in a similar situation because of his or her race. This form of discrimination can also occur when employees with physical characteristics associated with a specific race or ethnicity — hair texture, skin color, facial features — are treated less favorably than other employees.
Examples of race-based disparate treatment discrimination include:
- Offering promotions or other benefits exclusively to white employees
- Requiring drug testing only for workers of color
- Prohibiting natural hairstyles (e.g. locs, braids, weaves) in the workplace
In any event, applicable anti-discrimination laws require employers to treat employees fairly when making employment decisions or applying any policy or procedure.
Disparate Impact Discrimination
This type of discrimination can be more difficult to identify but disparate impact occurs when a policy, rule, or practice that applies to every employee has a disproportionately negative impact on employees based on their race, ethnicity, or national origin.
For example, refusing to hire candidates with an arrest or criminal record may have a disparate impact on black men. To justify any hiring policy, an employer must be able to show that it has a legitimate job-related basis.
Do I Have a Valid Claim?
Regardless of the circumstances, having a valid racial discrimination claim requires you to demonstrate that you:
- Are a member of a protected class (e.g. African American)
- Were qualified for the job or performed the role adequately
- Were denied a job offer, promotion, or other employment benefit or subjected to an adverse employment action (e.g. termination, demotion)
- Suffered harmed as a result (lost wages, future income, benefits)
The race discrimination attorneys at our firm have the skills to prove the elements of a racial discrimination claim and the determination to go the distance with you.
Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Racial Discrimination Attorneys
If you have been subjected to racial discrimination in the workplace, don’t go it alone. Turn to Castronovo & McKinney instead. We will fight for your rights in and out of the courtroom and help you obtain just compensation. Contact us now to get started.