New York Race Discrimination Lawyers Hold Employers Accountable

New York race discrimination lawyers at Leeds Brown have a proven track record of obtaining successful results for victims of workplace harassment and discrimination. Our lawyers understand the sensitive and emotional nature of discrimination claims and have extensive experience and skill needed to navigate these complex cases.

Workplace discrimination is prohibited by Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act and by various New York state laws. Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on race, religion, sex, color and national origin. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employment discrimination based on disability, and New York Human Rights Law prohibits employment discrimination based on all of these categories and more.

Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees while state laws apply to employers with 4 or more employees. If you work in New York for an employer with four employees, race discrimination laws protect you. The laws prohibit an employer from discriminating in the terms or conditions of employment by an individual’s color or race.

If you have experienced race discrimination, you may be able to collect damages from your employer. Damages can include lost income, reinstatement, promotion, future income and money for pain and suffering. New York race discrimination lawyers at Leeds Brown can help you understand your rights and guide you through the process of filing a claim.

What is New York Race Discrimination?

Race discrimination occurs every time an employer makes a job decision or treats an employee differently because of their race or color. Discrimination can occur at any stage of employment including:

  • Hiring
  • Firing
  • Compensating
  • Assigning work
  • Promoting
  • Providing benefits

There are two ways to demonstrate race discrimination. Disparate treatment occurs when an employee is treated differently because of his or her race, skin color, or another ethnic characteristic. For example, if an employee is not permitted to sell to customers on the store floor because she is African American or an employee does not receive a promotion because he is of Asian descent, it is disparate treatment. Disparate treatment may also exist when a person is subject to a hostile environment such as insults, jokes, and criticism based on race.

Disparate impact is when an employment policy or practice does not intend to discriminate but in practice, it adversely affects a particular race. For example, an employer may have a policy requiring all employees to be clean shaven at all times or they would be candidates for firing. This policy may disparately impact African American men who more commonly suffer from a painful skin condition making it difficult to shave.

New York Race Discrimination Lawyers Prove Disparate Treatment

To successfully prove disparate treatment race discrimination under Title VII, an employee must establish purposeful discrimination. Establishing the basis for a case requires four things:

  • The employee is a member of a protected class
  • The employee is qualified for the job
  • The employee was the subject of an adverse employment action or decision
  • That one can infer discrimination from the circumstances

Once the Plaintiff establishes these things, the burden of proof shifts to the employer. The employer must produce a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for the adverse employment action. If the employer can successfully show this, the plaintiff has an opportunity to show that this reason is a pretext or coverup for race discrimination. If a judge or jury can reasonably conclude that race was more likely than not a motivating cause, the plaintiff may be successful.

For example, in a race discrimination case involving the failure to hire, the plaintiff must show that he is a member of a protected class, qualified for the job and that although 99% of the applicants for the job were Asian and African-American, the one Caucasian candidate got it. Demonstrating this might be enough to support an inference of discriminatory intent.

Proving Racially Hostile Work Environment

To prove a racially hostile work environment, the plaintiff must show:

  • That she suffered discrimination because of race
  • That the discrimination was severe or pervasive
  • That the discrimination had negative effects on her
  • That the discrimination would negatively affect a reasonable person in the same circumstances

The court will look at the circumstances to determine if the harassment and discrimination are severe enough to create a hostile environment. The court will consider the frequency and severity of the conduct as well as whether it is physically threatening. For example, repeated use of racial slurs or hanging a confederate flag may create a racially discriminatory hostile environment. Co-workers are often responsible for a hostile environment, but your employer may be held liable for failure to stop the harassment.

New York Race Discrimination Lawyers Prove Disparate Impact

Under Title VII, an employer may not limit, separate or classify employees or job applicants in any way that would tend to deprive anyone of employment opportunities because his or her race or color. Practices that are not intended to discriminate but have a disproportionately adverse effect on a member of a protected class are unlawful unless they can be legitimately related to business necessity or job performance. A non-discriminatory motive is not always enough.

To prove disparate impact, a plaintiff must show that an apparently neutral policy or practice has caused a discriminatory pattern. Usually, the employee must use statistics to prove this.

The employer then has the burden to prove that the challenged practice or policy is job-related and consistent with business necessity. If an employer cannot present evidence of business necessity, the plaintiff wins simply by establishing the disparate impact. If an employer can prove business necessity, the plaintiff has an opportunity to prove that there are alternative, less discriminatory practices.

Contact Us

Putting together a successful race discrimination case is a challenge. Understanding the nuances of the various types of claims and categories of unlawful behavior is crucial to obtaining a positive outcome. Starting off on the right foot can make all the difference down the road.

Proving disparate impact, hostile work environment and disparate treatment race discrimination take special skill and knowledge. New York race discrimination lawyers at Leeds Brown have that skill and knowledge and can patiently guide you through the process of a Title VII or NYS discrimination claim. Our hands-on, team-based approach allows us to work closely with our clients and ensure that everyone can receive personal and vigorous representation. Our lawyers are leaders in the area of employment discrimination and are not afraid to take your case all the way to trial if it means securing the outcome you want and deserve.

Contact New York race discrimination lawyers at Leeds Brown by calling 1-800-585-4658. Someone is here to take your call 24/7. We don’t know how much time you have to file your race discrimination claim so call Leeds Brown today and protect your rights to recover monetary damages from your employer.