Race Discrimination FAQ

Discrimination based on race or national origin is still prevalent in the American workplace. Federal, state and city laws were implemented not only to remedy past discriminatory practices but also prohibit current forms of discriminatory conduct. Many of these laws specifically aim to prohibit your employer from making certain employment decisions based on your race, ethnicity, color, or nationality.

At the law office of Taubman, Kimelman & Soroka, our attorneys work with clients from all races, backgrounds and cultures to get justice and results in discrimination cases. We have established a proven record of success and a reputation for reliable legal service based on years of experience handling these cases, and we can put that strength behind you.

Our firm has represented a broad range of clients in employment law and discrimination cases over the years, including those involving:

  • African Americans
  • Latinos
  • Hispanics
  • Russians
  • Eastern Europeans
  • Caucasians
  • Africans
  • Asians
  • Arabs
  • Indians
  • Southeast Asians
  • Caribbean Islands
  • Japanese
  • Chinese
  • Koreans
  • Native Americans

What Qualifies as Discrimination Based on Race?

  • Racial discrimination can occur either on an individual level or to a class/group of employees.
  • Federal, state and city laws prohibit your employer from making decisions to hire, fire, promote, layoff, transfer, compensate, deny overtime or give access to training based on your race.
  • Federal, state and city laws prohibit your employer from limiting, segregating or classifying workers in any way that would deprive them of certain employment opportunities because of race.
  • Even policies or programs implemented by your employer, which may appear neutral on their face, can be regarded as discriminatory if they have a disproportionate impact on a certain race.

Racial discrimination may be based on an Employee's:

  • Skin color/complexion/ pigmentation
  • Hairstyle/ texture or facial features
  • Stereotypes or assumptions associated with a certain group
  • Manner of speech associated with a certain group
  • Physical or cultural attributes
  • Perceived ethnic or cultural heritage

What Qualifies as Discrimination Based on National Origin?

  • National origin discrimination can occur either on an individual level or to a class/group of employees.
  • Federal, state and city laws prohibit your employer from making decisions to hire, fire, promote, layoff, transfer, compensate or give access to training based on your national origin.
  • Federal, state and city laws prohibit your employer to limit, segregate or classify workers in any way that would deprive them of certain employment opportunities because of national origin.
  • Even policies or programs implemented by your employer which may appear neutral on their face, can be regarded as discriminatory if they have a disproportionate impact on a group of employee's of a certain national origin differently than those of a different group.

National Origin Discrimination may be based on an Employee's:

  • Use of a foreign language
  • Accent
  • Affiliation with an organization which identifies with a national group
  • Physical or cultural attributes
  • Perceived ethnic or cultural heritage
  • Surname

Unwelcome Harassment

Federal, state and city law prohibits your employer from subjecting you to unwelcome conduct, remarks, and jokes or to a hostile/offensive workplace environment that may unreasonably interfere with your job performance.

Victims and Liable Parties

  • Any person, no matter what race, ethnicity, color or national origin may be a victim of discrimination.
  • Any person, no matter what race, ethnicity, color or national origin may be held liable for discriminatory conduct.

Scenarios

Here are some scenarios that might help you determine whether you or someone you know has been the subject of discrimination based upon your race or national origin.

Scenario 1: Peter and Patrick are two African-American employees at a local tire manufacturing plant. On several occasions, their supervisor Sam, also African-American calls both employees into his office to discuss a recent string of thefts at the plant. During each encounter, not only does Sam accuse both employees of stealing, he also makes several derogatory comments regarding their race and particularly their darker skin complexion. Peter and Patrick may both have a discrimination claim.

Scenario 2: George is a Dominican administrative assistant at a local medical office. Several of his coworkers continuously make derogatory comments regarding his nationality and on one occasion George receives a mass email from a co-worker that contains racially offensive statements and graphics. George complains to his superior however such complaints are ignored. George may have a discrimination claim.

Scenario 3: Jennifer and Alice are two Filipinos who work for Acme, a small shipping company located in New York City. Both workers predominantly speak English, however from time to time, they communicate amongst each other in Tagalong, their native Filipino dialect. One day, Acme implements an "English only" policy that requires all workers to speak in English when they are at the shipping facility, regardless of whether they are in the presence of clients, on the back floor or in the break room. Acme implemented the policy after complaints from clients and to promote harmony within their diverse workplace. Jennifer and Alice however, are the only workers who are continuously reprimanded by their supervisor for violating the policy, even though several of their coworkers communicate at the facility in languages other than English or Tagalong, with no consequence. Jennifer was even suspended for a workday for violating the policy. Jennifer and Alice may both have a discrimination claim.

What can you do to make sure the conduct stops?

Knowing whether you are a victim of discrimination based on your race or national origin may not always be obvious. If you feel you have been exposed to some form of discrimination, you should certainly be in contact with our office. But, even if you are not sure whether you have been subject to discrimination, you should still contact us for a case review.

Contact our Discrimination Attorneys

To schedule a consultation at our New York City office to review discrimination case, contact our office. We can help guide you on how to proceed with your case.