Race Discrimination Lawyers Can Help

While we’ve come a long way with racial equality in our country, race discrimination and harassment are unfortunately far too common in American workplaces. Before filing a complaint against your employer, it’s important to first understand exactly what racial discrimination is, what your rights are, and how a race discrimination attorney can help.

What is race discrimination?

Race discrimination in the workplace is defined as any act covered by the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 2010 Equality Act that involves treating someone unfavorably due to their race and/or color complexion. In Massachusetts, anti-discrimination is protected by law Chapter 151B, prohibiting employers from discriminating on the basis of age, sex, religion, race, and more.

Racial discrimination also includes treating someone unfavorably due to their association with a person of a certain race (i.e. spouse, family member, etc.). Additionally, race discrimination can also occur when the victim and the perpetrator are of the same race and/or color.

Under these anti-discrimination laws, all aspects of discrimination in the workplace are unlawful including hiring or firing, pay, promotions, benefits, and more.

Types of race discrimination

  • Direct – This is when you yourself are treated unfairly or harassed in the workplace due to your race or your relationship with someone of a certain race.
  • Indirect – You can be indirectly discriminated against if there is a workplace policy or based on race. This can also be known as unintentional discrimination. Although this is not intended, it is still unlawful.
  • Harassment – Racial harassment includes slurs, offensive remarks, or displaying racially offensive signs or symbols. If the harassment occurs so frequently that it creates a hostile environment or results in an employment decision, like being fired or demoted, it then becomes unlawful.
  • Victimization – This occurs when you are harassed or treated unfairly because you have filed a racial discrimination complaint. It can also occur if you simply openly support someone who has filed a complaint about racial discrimination.

How can I prove I’m being racially discriminated against in the workplace?

As always, it’s crucial to document everything. Be sure to write down all instances of events, interactions, and conversations that you believe are discriminatory. Take these documented events to Human Resources so that they can be officially documented and used as evidence when filing a complaint.

What should I do if I believe I’m being racially discriminated against?

Filing a complaint with your Human Resources department is crucial. Additionally, in the state of Massachusetts, you must file a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) within 300 days.  It is important to consult with an attorney early to ensure you do not miss important deadlines.

When is it time to hire a race discrimination lawyer?

Employment law, especially when it comes to discrimination, can be confusing. A discrimination lawyer can help you assess whether or not you were illegally discriminated against, weigh out your options, help you understand your rights, and fight for you in your case against your employer.

At Greene and Hafer, we have over 20 years of experience in employment law and our discrimination lawyers are ready to help you with your racial discrimination legal needs.