discrimination at work

Racism is WRONG.

Racism hurts.

There is no place in the workplace for racism.

What can be done about racism in the workplace?

Employers are responsible for Racial Harassment, but under what circumstances?

Racial harassment is:

  1. Using racial epithets including derogatory jokes and offensive words relating to race
  2. Disgusting drawings making fun of race
  3. Leaving racist symbols for somebody of a particular race such as a noose, a gigantic nose, a monkey, a can of beans, a fake Uzi, a white trash bag, and the list goes on
  4. Bothering somebody about their race in an offensive manner

Racial harassment often overlaps with ethnic, ancestry, color, and national origin harassment. Attempting to pinpoint exactly which of these categories the harassment falls into is not productive because all of them are forbidden in the workplace.

Employers are liable for harassment by having -

Supervisors, higher level employees, or co-workers:

If the employer knows of their harassment, and it continues.

Employees need wrongful termination lawyers if they have actually been fired from their jobs, or they need to quit their jobs due to intolerable working conditions. If the employment has not ended, and is still occurring the only question is whether the employee has grounds to quit and sue. Wrongful termination attorneys sue for the loss of a job. They are not available for general consultations about workplace issues.

In order for employers to be responsible for racial harassment of supervisors the supervisor must, at minimum, have the ability to direct the flow and/or assign work. Employers can be strictly liable for a lead’s harassment depending on the lead’s responsibility, and whether they are the highest ranking person in charge who is present. Companies are strictly liable for racial harassment by a supervisor, manager, or owner. These persons of authority do not have to be the harassment victim’s immediate supervisor.
Racial harassment has to be offensive to a reasonable person of the age and background of the victim of harassment. Presumably there are some comments and actions that may not pass this test. For example, if somebody said, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles” many ethnicities may relate this quote to their ancestor’s struggles, but these are the first few words of the Communist Manifesto by the great political thinker Karl Marx. These words express Marx’s belief about dueling classes in society for thousands of years. But what if a manager remarked, on a daily basis, there is a reason why a certain minority group earns less than others? That is offensive and related to a particular ethnicity or race.

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workplace employment discrimination lawyer Racial discrimination at work is actionable, in other words it can be sued for in court, if the discrimination causes adverse employment consequences. Adverse employment consequences are clearly a job termination, or being forced to quit. Losing a job title, not having a reduction in pay, or having a marginal deduction in pay or hours are not adverse job consequences a court is likely to indulge. Firing somebody because they complained about racism is an adverse job consequence.

The biggest problem with racial discrimination at work is often times it can be felt, but proving it is racially motivated conduct is another story. The court will argue a series of actions taken towards an employee may be the cause of race discrimination, but could just as easily be the cause of business necessity and somebody’s non-discriminatory belief about how business should be conducted. Ultimately, the employee must prove the adverse job actions were substantially motivated by race.

Examples of race discrimination at work, the Employment Lawyers Group has succeeded in proving include:

  1. Experienced, Black truck drivers were never assigned work, but members of another race (the race of the dispatcher) were given work and continuously hired while telling the large group of Black drivers there was not any work. Here, the Black drivers proved they had many more years experience driving. The members of the other group were hired when they did not even have a license to drive a truck. There were enough Blacks not being given work and enough members of the other race being given work to prove something was wrong.
  2. The employee was the fourth employee to complain a lead was a racist. The lead had used racially offensive language for years, without repercussion, because his father and godfather were high ranking employees. The wrongfully terminated employee was told by the harasser to get him lunch and then the harasser reported him for being off-premises. This occurred in retaliation.
  3. A white supremacist continually taunted an oil field worker about his race and ancestry which was Latino and American Indian. Witnesses corroborated the racial harassment.
  4. Korean warehouse workers taunted an Indian man about his religion, called him 7-11 man, and made up other words to refer to his culture.
  5. A group of Latina warehouse workers refused to speak or train a new Black worker. She complained to management who passed it off, said they would reassign her, but never did. Race discrimination hurts. It causes emotional injury. Damages for emotional injury may exceed wage loss in these types of cases. If your situation is real, contact our race discrimination lawyers for a confidential consultation about whether you should sue.
  6. Race harassment and discrimination is offensive. We apologize if anybody is offended by the content on this page. However, real words and examples of repugnant discrimination will be described in any court case involving race discrimination. Words must be repeated. In addition, it is important to be able to recognize what types of situations will succeed and which will not in lawsuits involving racial discrimination at work.