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New Jersey Racial Discrimination

Experienced Employment Attorneys Representing New Jersey Workers

New Jersey has a population that is 13.7% African American, 8.3% Asian American, 2.7% multiracial, and 6.7% other races, with the remainder being white. When you apply for a job, you expect to be considered on your merits. Unfortunately, employers do engage in bias during the hiring process, and they may continue to be guided by bias or racism when making important workplace decisions like who to promote, what to pay an employee for their work, or whether to terminate an employee. Workplace racial discrimination occurs whenever an employee is treated adversely due to their race, rather than performance. Racial discrimination is prohibited in workplaces under both federal and state laws. At the Arcé Law Group, our New Jersey racial discrimination lawyers can represent employees in claims against their employers for violations of their rights in the workplace.

Federal and State Laws Against Racial Discrimination

In spite of federal and state laws that prohibit it, employers still may engage in racial discrimination. Racial discrimination may occur with regard to hiring, firing, layoffs, promotions, demotions, and training. Often, race discrimination is related to color discrimination, which is also prohibited. Discrimination usually occurs in the form of disparate treatment toward people of color and in favor of white employees. However, racial discrimination need not be explicitly admitted. Sometimes an employer institutes a facially neutral practice that disparately affects people of a particular race in what is known as disparate impact discrimination.

The federal law prohibiting racial discrimination is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It applies to businesses with at least 15 employees. Other than federal employers, all New Jersey employers are subject to the state anti-discrimination law, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, regardless of their size. In many situations, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination provides greater protection to New Jersey employees because it applies to small businesses. Moreover, there are caps on Title VII compensatory and punitive damages based on the size of the employer. Our racial discrimination attorneys can help New Jersey residents determine which laws best support their claim.

Racial Harassment in New Jersey

One form of racial discrimination is harassment. For example, if your coworkers send you racist images and paraphernalia, and you complain to HR, but your employer tells you to ignore it and does nothing to correct the situation, this may be actionable harassment for which you can hold your employer accountable.

Racial harassment may create a hostile work environment. To prove a hostile work environment claim against your employer, a New Jersey racial discrimination attorney would need to prove that the defendant's actions would not have occurred had it not been for your race, the actions were so frequent or so serious that a reasonable individual of the same race would believe that the employment conditions had been altered, and the work environment was hostile, abusive, or intimidating because of the harassment.

Generally, when a supervisor racially harasses an employee, the employer can be held strictly liable for it. An employer may also be liable for harassment performed by coworkers who have no supervisory role when an employer was given actual or constructive notice that racial harassment was occurring, had control over the harasser, and yet did not take immediate corrective measures to stop the harassment. An employer that engages in negligent or reckless actions can be liable for back pay, front pay, or reinstatement, as well as compensatory damages under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. Sometimes injunctive relief also is available. When upper management harasses an employee, or an employer is willfully indifferent to the harassment, it may be possible to get punitive damages. Contact a Skillful Racial Discrimination Lawyer in New Jersey

If you are subject to employment discrimination in the workplace based on your race, the Arcé Law Group may be able to help you. From offices in Newark and Princeton, our discrimination attorneys represent employees throughout New Jersey. Contact us at 212-248-0120 or via our online form.

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