Racial Discrimination at Work? Speak with Our Long Island Attorneys

Long Island Racial Discrimination Attorneys Protect Job Applicants

Attorneys like the ones at Leeds Brown Law, P.C., focusing their Long Island practice on racial discrimination in the workplace, see first-hand the obstacles that often get in the way of a job search. It is hard to secure employment even when you find an opening for which you are fully qualified. It can be significantly harder when an employer has practices and policies in place that discriminate against candidates of a particular race.

Provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and New York State Human Rights Law, make it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against someone because of his or her race and color, among other characteristics. The laws prohibit racial discrimination during any part of the employment process including:

  • Advertising
  • Recruiting
  • Hiring
  • Applying
  • Testing
  • Firing
  • Promoting
  • Training
  • Compensating
  • Disciplining
  • Assigning tasks
  • Assigning territory
  • Assigning shifts
  • Providing benefits

There are occasions when workplace racial discrimination is overt and intentional, commonly referred to as “disparate treatment.” For example, a supervisor assigns only Asian workers to the least favorable night shift because he wants his day shift to have “people of his own kind.” At other times, racial discrimination may be unintentional, but the actions of an employer have the effect of discriminating against a particular race. This kind of employment discrimination is called “disparate impact.” Both types of discrimination occur at all stages of employment including the application process.

Have you suffered from workplace race discrimination as a job applicant or employee? The employment discrimination lawyers at Leeds Brown represent clients on Long Island in New York City and can help determine if your job interview, application, qualification test or other pre-employment experience was racially discriminatory. Our lawyers can help you navigate a claim against an employer for racial discrimination that occurs in the workplace at any time during the employment process – from applying to firing. Your claim may entitle you to receive a significant monetary award for damages and other relief. Leeds Brown can fight for your right to receive equal opportunity and fair treatment.

Title VII Protects Employees From Discriminatory Job Testing

Some employers use tests to help evaluate whether a candidate is suitable for a particular position. Employers administer a variety of examinations to assist with the hiring and promoting processes. Cognitive tests, personality tests, and selection procedures including credit checks and medical exams can be effective tools.

For example, as stated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), cognitive tests can be useful for assessing things like memory, reasoning, perceptual accuracy, math skills, comprehension and knowledge of job functions. Physical ability tests are helpful for measuring someone’s physical ability to perform a job or task, strength of particular muscle groups, and overall strength and stamina. Sample job tests or simulations assess capacity to perform a task or make job decisions.

Job tests are permitted as long as they are designed, administered and used in a lawful manner. Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on race, but with regards to tests, in particular, the law permits employment tests as long as they are not “designed, intended or used to discriminate because of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.”

When do Employment Tests Discriminate?

Title VII prohibits disparate treatment (intentional) racial discrimination as well as disparate impact in all areas of employment. Let’s look at some situations where employment testing may be intentionally discriminatory:

  • An employer tests the reading ability of Latino applicants but not Caucasian applicants
  • An employer requires Caucasian applicants to score a 50 or above on a job skill test, but African American applicants must score at least a 75
  • An employer tests the strength of Asian applicants but not members of any other race

Claims for racial discrimination of the disparate treatment type typically share common issues. Is there evidence of differential treatment of people of a certain race? Why? Is there a non-discriminatory motive that makes sense?

Disparate impact discrimination occurs when an employer’s neutral policy or process disproportionately affects one race. Disparate impact claims tend to be more complicated than disparate treatment claims because they require significant statistical evidence. Identifying whether a neutral testing policy or another selection process has disparate impact results is tricky and is best left to experienced professionals. Some examples of workplace testing that may lead to racial discrimination are:

  • An apprenticeship training selection system consists of a written cognitive test that is supposed to evaluate mechanical aptitude of applicants. African American applicants consistently receive rejections because of their low test scores, but applicants of other races seem to do fine.
  • A company has a physical test for all entry level positions that requires applicants to reach shelves that are very high with no assistance such as a stepstool. The test may be proven to have a discriminatory impact one race more than another.

Contact Leeds Brown, Long Island’s Workplace Discrimination Lawyers

Leeds Brown has experienced attorneys to review the facts of your workplace situation and help you build and present a strong claim of racial discrimination. Has your employer made an intentionally discriminatory decision? Have you been excluded from a meeting or missed out on a promotion because of your race? Was your employment test or application unfair to members of your race and not another?

Leeds Brown can find the answers you need to ensure that you receive equal treatment under the laws. Proving your racial discrimination claim takes skill and dedication, and our attorneys have both. We can help you enforce your rights to a job, promotion, and any monetary damages to which you may be entitled.

Contact our employment discrimination firm today for a free case evaluation. Someone is here to take your call 24/7. On Long Island, there is one place to turn when you experience workplace racial discrimination – Leeds Brown.



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