Workplace discrimination based on race or color is prohibited by both federal and state law. This includes discrimination based on characteristics associated with race, such as hair texture, skin color, or facial features, or because a person is married to or related to someone of a certain race or color. Despite the protections enshrined in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, racial discrimination in the workplace unfortunately still exists. Some workers suffer from overt racism, while others endure less direct forms that are equally harmful. Know your rights in the workplace and be aware that the following types of racial discrimination are illegal.

  • Disparate treatment: This type of discrimination involves one employee being less favorably treated than another for discriminatory reasons. Examples of disparate treatment include:
    • Promotions being given to less qualified employees while qualified employees of another race are passed over.
    • A group of employees being given less favorable job assignments based on race. For instance, black employees are confined to cleaning jobs in a restaurant, and white employees greet and seat customers.
    • Applying company rules differently based on an employee’s race, such as when a supervisor is more relaxed about a white employee being tardy but very strict with their colleague who is a person of color. Some people do not even realize that they have biased beliefs about other races that lead them to target that group unfairly or treat them differently. Also known as implicit bias, this can lead to racial profiling or targeting an employee based on race and is discriminatory.
  • Disparate impact: This type of racial discrimination occurs when a racial group is affected disproportionately by a policy intended to be neutral and for everyone. A policy or practice may be unbiased but still end up disproportionately impacting workers of a particular racial group.
  • Racial harassment: Unfortunately, making isolated racist jokes is not prohibited by law. However, if harassment in the form of making racist and offensive jokes, sending or making racist comments, or using racial slurs creates a hostile work environment, then legal action against the employer is an option.
  • Wage discrimination: Under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), discrimination based on race is prohibited. An employer may not pay an employee or group of employees less than other employees performing the same or similar work because of race.
  • Retaliation: An employer may not retaliate or take adverse employment actions against an employee who has filed a reasonable claim of workplace racial discrimination or participated in a race discrimination complaint investigation. Adverse employment actions include termination, demotion, suspension, job reassignment, and loss of benefits.

In New Jersey, employers are required to have anti-discrimination policies and programs to prevent and remediate any incidences of workplace race discrimination. If you feel your workplace rights have been violated, contact an experienced attorney immediately.

Our Marlton Discrimination Lawyers at Burnham Douglass Fight for the Rights of Victims of Workplace Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination in the workplace is banned by both federal and state law. Protect your rights by calling Burnham Douglass at 856-751-5505 or by contacting us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our Marlton discrimination lawyers. Located in Marlton and Northfield, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout South Jersey, including Evesham Township, Cherry Hill, Camden County, Burlington County, and Atlantic City.