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New York City Race Discrimination Attorney

Racial Discrimination Lawyer NYC

Is a certain comment or image appropriate in the workplace?  Or does it contain a racist element specifically directed at someone just because of their color, race, or country of origin?  Perhaps you were passed over for a promotion in favor of someone else.  Was it because they had what it took to do the job, or did something like race or skin color play a factor?

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Even though great strides have been made in recent decades, racism still runs rampant in various parts of the corporate and professional worlds.  You may face yourself with the daunting choice of whether to pursue what you believe to be racism in the workplace or let it go in favor of not pursuing the filing of a complaint. That is where an experienced racial discrimination attorney can greatly benefit you.  Contact one of our attorneys at the Law Offices of Yuriy Moshes.

Racial Harassment at Work. What Does It Look Like?

Racial harassment is a violation of federal and state law and occurs in the workplace when a person or group of people continually depict signs of intolerance against another based on that person’s color, culture, descent, language or religion. Such misconduct may be verbal, physical, written, or visual.  Race discrimination is not limited to two or more races.  It can happen within the same race as well if you are made to feel threatened or intimidated or otherwise uncomfortable in the workplace.

Spotting Racial Discrimination in the Workplace

There are two types of workplace racial discrimination: intentional / disparate treatment race discrimination and disparate impact discrimination:

  • Intentional / Disparate Treatment Race Discrimination: Disparate treatment race discrimination is when one is intentionally treated differently than his or her coworkers in the workplace on the basis of race. For example, if an employer must fire an employee due to corporate restructuring and the employer allows race to factor into that decision, disparate treatment race discrimination has occurred. Similarly, if employees of different races earn different salaries despite performing the same work, that may also be the result of illegal workplace race discrimination.
  • Disparate Impact Race Discrimination: Disparate impact race discrimination does not result from actual racism. Instead disparate impact race discrimination occurs when a facially neutral policy, practice, or rule, has a discriminatory effect. For example, administering standardized testing in the workplace where one race scores disproportionately lower than other races could be illegal disparate impact racial discrimination.

Because no smart employer will admit to racism or illegal conduct, it is important to be able to recognize both intentional race discrimination and disparate impact discrimination when they occur in your workplace. Here are some examples of situations in which our race discrimination lawyers secured justice for race discrimination victims:

  • One client was not promoted because he was African American. We uncovered discrimination because he was more experienced and had better annual review scores than the white employee who was promoted;
  • An employer who regularly told race-related jokes was found to have illegally discriminated against a black employee (even though she never actually called our client black or used n-word);
  • A small business systematically laid off most of the employees of non-white ethnic groups during a layoff;
  • One of our clients was repeatedly passed over for a promotion in favor of less qualified Caucasian employees.

Racial Discrimination At Work Examples

Racial discrimination can take many forms.  Some of them can be blatant.  Others are more subtle.  Some of the more common forms of racial discrimination are:

  • Someone subjecting you to racial slurs.
  • An employer refuses to consider you based on your race.
  • A coworker or superior tells racially insensitive or ethnic jokes in your presence.
  • An employer refuses to hire you based on your race.
  • A coworker or superior makes offensive comments based on race.
  • An employer offers you a lower rate or inferior terms based on your race.
  • You are denied training or promotional opportunities because of your race.  Or you are demoted, disciplined, or fired for the same reason.
Attorney for Job Discrimination

The common thread is it can create an unequal and potentially hostile work environment.

Dealing With Racial Harassment At Work

Hiring, firing, salary increases, and job advancements based on race are discriminatory and illegal.  Any victim should document as much as possible:  

  1. Racial statements made by the employer.
  2. Any race based images or other visual media
  3. Witness statements and other comparative treatment evidence
  4. Research any past discrimination and your employer’s complaint procedure

Any such information should then immediately be brought to the attention of the appropriate management team.  It should also be presented to a qualified race discrimination attorney, like one of our experienced lawyers at the offices of Yuriy Moshes.  They are ready to help you go over what you have gathered to see how it can be best used for your benefit and your case.

Employment Laws That Protect You From Race Discrimination In NYC

The history of legislation protecting people from varying types of discrimination dates back to just after the Civil War.

The Civil Rights Act of 1866

The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was the first major civil rights law after the Civil War.  Congress passed it in 1865, but it wasn’t enacted until 1870.

The Act  provided for equal citizenship for all male citizens born in the U.S.  The aim of the legislation was civil protections for African Americans.  

This is the legal foundation for employees to sue over race-based discrimination.  While employment discrimination has been illegal since 1866, many issues and loopholes weren’t remedied with the passage of new legislation nearly 100 years later.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 

The next major piece of civil rights legislation was the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It was signed into law on July 2 of that year.  The law forbade discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex, or nation of origin.

Title VII governs job-related discrimination based in organizations with fifteen or more employees.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, along with state agencies across the country, advocate on behalf of employees experiencing employment law race discrimination as defined by Title VII.

Laws were passed later to fill in gaps not addressed by Title VII.  These included  Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.   They prohibited discrimination based on pregnancy, age, or disabilities.

Under Title VII, you need to file a charge within six calendar months from the day of the alleged discriminatory occurrence.  The deadline can be extended out to 300 calendar days if a state or local agency prohibits, by law, the same type of employment discrimination.

Racial Discrimination in the Workplace Examples

New York State Human Rights Laws

New York has led the fight in the United States with passage of the New York Human Rights Law.  Passed in 1945 (and originally called the Law Against Discrimination), it’s the more common name for Article 15 of the New York Executive Law (Title 18 of the Consolidated Laws of New York).  It forbids job-related discrimination based on sex, relgion, color or national origin in places of employment with four or more people.  The New York Human Rights Commission oversees the law.  It enforces the law through a combination of the following:

  • Prosecution of illegal discrmination
  • Receiving, investigating, and resolving discrimination complaints
  • Creating programs and campaigns designed to educate the public and corporate world about the effects of discrimination as well as rights and responsibilities under the law
  • Developing human rights polices and legislation for New York

That law was followed later by the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (2002) and the Gender Expression Non-Discrmination Act (2018).  The New York Human Rights Law was also expanded in 2019 to cover domestic workers, independent contractors, and other similarly self-employed workers from workplace discrimination.

Under the New York Human Rights Law, a person has twelve months from teh date of the alleged discrimination to file a complaint, or 36 months if it involves gender-based discrimination.

New York City Human Rights Laws

New York City has its own human rights laws and civil rights protections as well.  The New York City Human Rights Law prohibits discrmination in the workplace and encourages fair practices in housing and public accommodations.  It also prohibits discrimination in lending practices, law enforcement, and provides protections against retaliation for reporting/filing complaints against discriminatory practices.  It provides for reasonable accomodations to allow a person to do his or her job.

The list of forbidden actions under the New York City Human Rights Law is extensive.  It prohibits discrimination in the hiring process; salary and benefits; performance reviews;  promotions; demotions, discipline and temrinations; and any other decision that affect the status of someone’s employment.  The list of protected classes under the New York City Human Rights Law is expansive as well.  Age, immigration/citizenship, color, disability, sexual orientation/gender identity, marital/partnership, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, or veteran status are all covered under the law.

Under the New York City Human Rights Law, a person has twelve months from the date of the alleged discrimination to file a complaint, or 36 months if it involves gender-based discrimination.


What Constitutes Racial Discrimination In The Workplace?

Racial discrmination is any act or comment or visual element that targets a person based on their color, race or national origin.  It manifests in various ways including workplace harassment and hiring practices based on race among other racial discrimination at work examples.

How To Handle Racial Discrimination In The Workplace?

There is a right and a wrong way to handle discrimination in the workplace.  If you feel you’ve been the target of someone’s racism, there are a handful of steps to take:  collect statements; talk to witnesses; photograph racist images; photograph racist images, log evidence of treatment; and research the employer’s past record and complaint rules.  In short, preserve and document as much evidence as possible.

Can I Sue My Employer For Racial Discrimination?

You can file a complaint against your employer in the form of a racial discrimination in the workplace lawsuit.  There are three agencies in which to file complaints:  the New York Division of Human Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or the New York City Commission on Human Rights.  With several brances of said agencies around, a race discrimination lawyer can best help you navigate the process.

What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Filing A Race Discrimination Lawsuit?

Federally, you have 36 months from the date of the incident you believe the alleged racism took place to file a lawsuit.  In New York state and New York City, a complaint must be filed within one year of the alleged incident, or three years if it’s gender-based discrimination or other sexual harassment.

How do I find a good discrimination lawyer?

You can find a top-rate race discrimination lawyer through the New York State Bar, or you can call our law offices to speak to one of our attorneys at the Law Office of Yuriy Moshes.

Contact an NYC Race Discrimination Attorney to Help With Your Case

There are three avenues through which you can file a discrimination complaint:  the New York Division of Human Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or the New York City Commission on Human Rights , if you live in New York City.  However, navigating the filing of a race discrimination lawsuit can be a difficult process.  A race discrmination lawyer can help you navigate those agencies and determine which options present the best chance of success for filing your complaint.

How to Prove Racial Discrimination in the Workplace

They can also help decide at which of the agencies’ many branches you should file your complaint.  Contact the Law Offices of Yuriy Moshes for a free consultation on how we can help you with racial harassment at work.

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