Racial discrimination in the workplace can be a terrifying experience. Not only does discrimination based on race make for a deeply uncomfortable work environment, but it is also illegal. Federal and state laws prohibit employers from treating employees differently based on race and racial characteristics.
Such discrimination may be obvious or subtle; the law protects both forms. If you think you may have been experiencing racial discrimination in your place of work, read on to find out what courts consider in determining when conduct is illegal.
Racial discrimination is covered under both federal and state law. At the federal level, this form of discrimination is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This statute applies to racial discrimination in all areas of employment, such as hiring decisions, firing decisions, promotions, wages, and benefits. The provisions of Title VII govern employers who employ at least 15 employees.
But employees employed by employers with less than 15 employees are not entirely out of luck. If your employer employs at least four employees, your employer is governed by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA). Like Title VII, the PHRA prevents employers from discriminating against employees based on race in all areas of employment, including but not limited to hiring, firing, promotions, wages, and benefits.
There are two categories of racial discrimination in the workplace falls that discriminatory conduct may fall into: “disparate treatment” and “disparate impact.” But what if discrimination is more subtle and less immediately apparent? What are these employees to do?
When thinking about race discrimination in the workplace, most people think of disparate treatment discrimination. This form of discrimination occurs when the race is used as a factor that impacts the treatment of certain employees. Namely, disparate treatment racial discrimination occurs when employees are treated worse than others because of minority status.
But race discrimination does not need to be so blatant to be actionable. This form of discrimination is known as disparate impact discrimination. It results from policies and practices that may seem neutral on their face but have an impact on disadvantaged members of a specific race over other employees. So if a policy has the effect of disadvantaging only minorities, it falls under the umbrella of disparate impact racial discrimination and is illegal under both Title VII and the PHRA.
Common Examples of Race Discrimination in the Workplace
So, what counts as racial discrimination under the law? Title VII of 1964’s Civil Rights Act and Pennsylvania Human Rights Act protects employees against unfair employment decisions based on their race or perceived race.
Still, cases of employer bias based on race are rampant in Pittsburgh and other cities across Pennsylvania. These situations affect African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and people of Middle Eastern descent.
Some of the most common discrimination cases we’ve encountered in the many years we have been helping employees fight hostile work environments include:
- Failing to extend job positions to job applicants outside of a select race;
- Denied employment because of one’s association with someone from a different racial group, for example, an African-American spouse;
- Sidelining employees of a different race during promotions;
- Denying employees of a particular descent work benefits like vacation time or paid healthcare;
- Assigning the least desirable duties to employees of a specific race;
- Retaliation or victimization against employees for speaking up or filing litigation for workplace race discrimination;
- Purposely harming a person’s career growth based on race;
- Discriminatory pay based on an employee’s race;
- Choosing to fire or lay off employees of a select race;
- Harassment is based on race or national origin, i.e., racial slurs, racial jokes, offensive/ derogatory comments about one’s skin color.
Many more situations outside of these may also fall in the color discrimination bracket. So, if any workplace decision is made with your race or perceived race in mind, your employer can be held liable for violating both the federal and Pennsylvania employment law.
What to do if You’re Racially Discriminated in an Employment Setting
So, say you have been treated differently in a work setting because of your race or perceived race. What action can and should you take?
First off, racial harassment or abuse is categorized as direct discrimination. But you may be racially discriminated indirectly as well. Both direct and indirect discrimination based on race is illegal. While the law is definitely on your side, you may find it challenging to file and prove your case yourself.
Therefore, the best step is to contact an employment law firm to help you compile your case and file a solid civil suit. J.P. Ward & Associates provides skilled and experienced race discrimination lawyers to guide you in filing for compensation.
Here’s What Makes Our Employment Discrimination Lawyers Ideal for Your Case
Why get a discrimination attorney from us and not any other law firm? Here are a couple of things that set our lawyers apart from all others in Pittsburgh:
Extensive Knowledge of Federal and State Employment Law
If there’s one thing all our employment lawyers have in common is the in-depth knowledge they have on laws governing employer-employee relationships. That includes laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. We can advise you on the most probable outcome to help you make an informed decision by reviewing your case. We apply this knowledge to your case to ensure you have the highest chances of success.
High Success Rate in Discrimination Claims
Our attorneys have won hundreds of thousands for employees who’ve faced discrimination in the workplace. That includes race, color, gender, age, and other kinds of employment discrimination. You can join our success stories by getting in touch with us today.
Available and Dependable
We strive to provide a good attorney-client relationship. Once you get an attorney working on your case, you can count on them to walk with you to until the end. You don’t need to line up to access your attorney through our channels. You can reach them during business hours if you want to follow up on your case. You can also contact our support department on call for quick assistance.
Honesty and High Integrity
Our lawyers are foremost honest with clients. We will give you the facts as they are to explore the options you have from a more informed perspective. We also carry ourselves with the highest integrity. So, you can trust us to dedicate our best efforts to your case.
How to Get Help When You’re Discriminated Against at Work Based on Race
Our process is pretty simple and quick. To get a suitable lawyer to file your claim:
Call Us for a Free Appointment
Your first appointment is free. So, call us to talk to one of our workplace discrimination lawyers.
Tell Us More About Your Experience
Talk about your racial bias experience confidentially. We’ll review your story and advise you on whether you have a case.
We Get Started on Your Case
We’ll take care of the rest for you. So, trust us to file and fight your case to the end.
Facing Discrimination Based on Race in the Workplace? Our Racial Discrimination Lawyers Are Here to Help
If you or someone you know has been the victim of race discrimination in employment, contact J.P. Ward & Associates today. To succeed in your claim against your employer, you need the assistance of a skilled employment attorney. Our attorneys are here to help guide you through the process of filing an employment discrimination claim and assisting you in exploring your options.
We look forward to speaking with you! For more information, contact us by filling out this form or by calling us at (833)-GOT-FIRED.