Although people are more aware of racism today, it still happens in workplaces across the United States. If someone treats you unfairly at work or makes comments that disparage you because of your race, that is illegal. Our attorneys have helped victims of racial discrimination in New York City get fair compensation for damages that occurred because of the negative actions of others. It is important to understand what constitutes racial discrimination at work and how to handle it.
Discrimination can be against people of any race or mixed races. In some cases, a person may be discriminated against because their spouse is another race. In addition to racial discrimination, there may be other factors involved. For example, someone may treat a coworker of another race differently because of gender and sexual orientation as well. Discrimination does not always include negative remarks. To illustrate this point, imagine that you have a new Jewish coworker. If you hear your boss praising your coworker for his hard work and commenting that Jewish people have good financial skills, this can still be considered discrimination.
Racial discrimination includes any written or verbal comments, jokes or statements about a person’s race. They may involve stereotypes, insults or compliments. In some instances, racial discrimination may be blatant and perpetual. It may also be subtle. For example, if you are the only worker of your race and notice that you are treated differently, that treatment may come from discrimination. Also, racial discrimination can be intentional or unintentional. Since some people may have grown up in families that perpetuated past stigmas or racial stereotypes, they may have unknowingly developed those tendencies. Employers have a duty to teach diversity and enforce equal treatment in the workplace among employees on all levels. Racial discrimination may also happen to people during interviews before jobs. An employer denying someone a job because of race is illegal. An attorney can help you determine if your situation may be tied to racial discrimination.
Federal, state and local laws protect you from retaliation if you file a complaint or report about racial discrimination in your workplace. Contact an HR representative to follow the correct procedure. If you feel that your complaint was not handled fairly, an attorney can help. Also, if you lost money in any way, you may be able to collect compensation. For example, the discrimination may have caused you to need expensive therapy. If you were demoted, fired or had your hours cut, you may have lost income.
If you are the victim of subtle discrimination at work, keep a diary of incidents. Write down the date, time and details of each incident. If there are any witnesses, include their names. If you have a potential case, these details may help solidify it. Also, write down any relevant communications and responses to grievances that you filed.
At Leeds Brown Law, we are sensitive to discrimination issues and have helped many New York City racial discrimination victims get the compensation that they deserve. If you experienced an upsetting incident or a pattern of racial discrimination at work, we can discuss your concerns with you and help you determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit. New York’s Human Rights Law protects you from unequal and discriminatory treatment in the workplace. There are local and state laws that protect employees of smaller businesses and independent workers, and there are federal laws that protect workers in larger companies. Our attorneys can help you through this difficult time. We welcome you to visit one of our offices in Downtown, Midtown or Long Island. Also, you can call us for a free and confidential case evaluation.