Discrimination in the workplace based on race is illegal in New Jersey. Employers are not allowed to base hiring or firing decisions on an employee’s race. Additionally, race cannot be a factor when an employer decides which employees to promote, offers someone a raise, or transfers them to a different department.
The color of your skin and the origin of your ancestors is no reflection of your ability to perform a job, nor is it an indication of your qualifications or abilities. Only your work record and education reflect your capabilities.
NJ Employment Lawyers is a legal firm dedicated to ensuring that all New Jersey workers are treated fairly in the workplace. We fight for the rights of people discriminated against based on race and seek justice on their behalf.
Are you a victim of racial discrimination in your workplace or during the hiring process? You may be able to take legal action. Our experienced, dedicated legal team can help you explore your options and hold a discriminatory company accountable. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.
What is Racial Discrimination in The Workplace?
Workplace racial discrimination is denying an individual equal treatment in the workplace because of their race.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) oversees discrimination in the workplace. Its role is to enforce federal laws that penalize companies that discriminate against members of protected classes.
Race is just one of many classes that the EEOC has a role in protecting. Others include sex, religion, genetic information, and disability.
Racial discrimination affects everyone, and anyone can be a victim of discrimination in the workplace. Some common examples of racial discrimination include:
- Not interviewing a candidate because of an ethnic-sounding name
- Not considering someone for a promotion based on their race
- Telling a joke in the break area where a racial stereotype is the punchline
- Refusing to work with someone of a different race
- Assuming someone is capable of performing a task due to stereotypes, such as “people like you are good at math”
Sometimes, racial discrimination is less obvious. It might take the form of “microaggressions,” in which prejudiced assumptions influence how someone is perceived and the ways they are treated day to day.
Racial Discrimination Can Be Subtle
Modern racial discrimination in the workplace often manifests differently than it did 60 years ago, but it is still present. Although it may be subtle, the patterns of racial discrimination should be fairly easy to spot.
For example, a supervisor may assign meaningless tasks to people in one racial group or keep them on projects that are not the most visible or important. Or a salesperson might be consistently assigned the worst territories or not be permitted to handle the most important accounts at the company.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination protects all workers from racial discrimination. It is also applicable to students who may not have the same opportunities for internships or limited-space classes due to their race.
Schools are held to the same standards of nondiscriminatory practices as businesses, including being prohibited from basing admission decisions on race or color.
Furthermore, students are also protected from racial harassment or bullying from other students. Suppose that you are in a class and other students direct racial remarks toward you. If someone with a position of authority is aware of this behavior, they must take action to address it.
Workplace Retaliation for Discrimination Complaints Is Illegal Per New Jersey Law
A victim of workplace discrimination has the right to file a complaint with their manager and human resources department without fear of retaliation. Retaliation after a complaint of unfair treatment is illegal, and once the complaint process begins, the employer must address your concerns and protect you from retaliation.
Common forms of workplace retaliation by supervisors can include:
- Transferring you to another department where you may face a pay cut
- Complaining that you are causing problems or allowing coworkers to call you a “snitch” or “crybaby”
- Assigning you to more distasteful tasks to make you quit
- Consistently passing you over for promotions even though you are eligible and qualified
Retaliation can also include terminating your employment, in which case you may have a wrongful termination case. If you have made a good-faith complaint to your employer and the state employment board, you have legal protections.
Filing a Racial Discrimination Complaint in New Jersey
If you are unable to get a resolution for your complaint with your company, then your next step is to file a complaint with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Division on Civil Rights. This agency will evaluate your complaint and investigate the company. You may also file a complaint with the EEOC.
If either agency determines that you have a valid discrimination complaint, then you and your employment lawyer may file a lawsuit in civil court against the company.
Have You Been Discriminated Against Because of Your Race?
If you’ve been a victim of racial discrimination in the workplace, NJ Employment Lawyers in New Jersey can help you file your discrimination lawsuit. Contact us today for a free consultation.